Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tucson Endurance Corner Training Camp

The first day began with a Monsy Muffin and a large cup of coffee. Thanks Monica!

We headed to the pool for an early swim. Alan provided the set which was a short warm up followed by 8x25 fly and then 20x100 swim. I felt really good in the pool leading our lane. Must be the masters work and Kari’s complete overhaul of my doggie paddle.

After our swim we headed back for breakfast but I decided to pass on brekkie and just snack on a buffet of power bars and Gatorade on my way out to Madera Canyon. Justin Daerr provided a civilized wheel out of town for the group until I had the honor of our first flat of the day. After a quick tire change we were back on our way out to Madera with several good pulls which ended up breaking up the peppy group into several smaller peppy groups. I ended up in the front group with Tony D. each of us taking good pulls at the front into a nasty wind. Some of the highlights of the ride included Dave putting together a monster solo bridge to catch up to Tony and me and then Dave dropping us on Madera Canyon. My lack of hot weather training was evident by the cramps in my legs from the ride up Madera and back down to Tucson. All in all is was a good first day hitting about 96 miles on the bike.

We had a good talk at dinner on riding the long ride given by KP and color commentary by Gordo, JD, and Alan. I’m looking nervously forward to tomorrow’s ride up Mt. Lemmon. It should be interesting to see what that ride did to my legs and how well I can bounce back in this early season camp. It’s another great group here in Tucson and I’m looking forward to learning more about them and myself as the week progresses.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Just A Little Frustration

I decided with the great weather on Saturday to go and ride with some of the local studs here in Madison. The ride was billed as a base ride and for most of the ride it was. The part that wasn't was a bit frustrating. I really had to work hard to stay with the group on some of the longer hills and also a section which was more of a 20 minute time trial than a base ride. This caused some doubt as to whether I did enough this winter to spring board my fitness toward a good season.

Although it felt good to work harder, and be outside with my buddies, I'm not sure if this is in line with my goal of becoming a better cyclist. I think what is frustrating is the fact that I love riding with my friends not only for the company but also for the fact that these guys are strong and there may be some benefit to riding with them. However, this turned into more of a roadie ride with huge peaks and valleys in effort, power, and heart rate rather than a tri-focused ride with more steady efforts and controlled hills. I'd like to continue to ride with them because I really enjoy their company but I worry that I'm not doing what I should when I'm training but, at the same time, I don't want to be a triathlon hermit.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Groovy Baby

Its been 10 days into my pre-season unloading period and I feel groovy baby. I've been adding back in some habits that I've let slip once the swim, bike, and run load picked up and hopefully, I can keep them in the routine throughout the rest of the season.

First, I've added yoga back into the mix not only for the great physical benefits but also to calm the mind and center myself. In these 10 days I've been also focused on core work and strength training as well. Even if these items don't make me quicker I feel that they are good for over all health and injury prevention. I've started putting the in season diet in place limiting sweets and high glycemic index carbs. I've also been experimenting with limiting caffeine intake.

With the way I'm currently feeling these changes appear to be a step in the right direction for fitness and overall health and well, um...lets just say I'm feeling randy baby...grrrrrrr.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Typically the goal is to get loaded but not this week. The past three days have been nice and easy. Monday was a bit of strength training and an easy run. Tuesday was Yoga and an easy swim and Wednesday was a strength bike and easy run. I can't tell if I'm feeling good or bad. My body is used to training 2-3hrs a day with some decent effort. So, typically when I cut back on my training my body goes through some weird stuff. I've noticed for one, it takes a bit longer for me to get into a groove during my workouts. It also takes a bit longer for my heart rate to come up and correlate with my perceived effort and pace/power. Finally, I just feel tired and sluggish even though my hours of training are severely cut. Its good to try this unloading block without any races to cause freakout as most athletes don't attempt a taper until right before a big race. So, I guess we will see how the body comes around and whether this unloading block is a good thing prior to my season buildup. I'm guessing it is but I'm looking forward to getting loaded again.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Two more down...

Two more solid weeks in the books. Last week I was able to get in about 17hrs of training and this week just a bit under. It’s amazing how much harder 17hrs is when done during winter versus when done during summer.

I’ve been working hard on my swim technique this winter. Kari has me doing a ton of swimming with one of those freestyle snorkels allowing me to really focus on swimming from the core and not leading the stroke with my arms. I’ve always been pretty strong and fit so I think that I’ve been able to more or less “fake” the swim.

On the bike, it’s been more or less a bike maintenance schedule, working more on strength, mod-hard intervals etc., than endurance…duh, it’s the winter and all my training has been on the trainer. So, Alan and I have been rolling with the punches and not fighting back against Mother Nature. It’s been much better than last year although I have had some moving to CO moments where the winters are much milder. Oh, and the best part is that I’m seeing lifetime best power numbers.

Finally, on the run I had an early calf injury so I’ve been slowly building my mileage back up to the 40mi p.w. range. Alan has put forth the challenge of 50mi running weeks and I accept wholeheartedly.

There are now 3 more weeks until Endurance Corner Tucson Camp. Alan has made an executive decision to pull the reigns in and drop some fatigue before the camp. So, instead of trying to do some last minute cramming before the first test of the year we will be getting good night sleeps (me alone, not with Alan), reestablishing good habits such as 2x p.w. yoga and weights, and with the reduced volume I will need to put back in place my good eating habits. After this down time it’s off to camp and then full speed ahead into the Rockman Half Ironman and then Ironman Lake Placid.