Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Recovery is So Nice

Last week was a recovery week. Phew! This week I am back at and my body is ready to roll. I use to get freaked out during recovery weeks because I was afraid of loosing fitness. Not anymore! Even last season, I remember thinking I appreciated recovery to its fullest. Not like I do now. All I have to say is fresh legs are nice. My mind has been sharp and motivated. This early in the season, that usually isn't a problem.

Went out on the group ride this morning and had a good showing. Not that there is a prize or anything, but I do monitor my power and how I stack up to track progress. Thank you recovery week. Blasting away in the morning made my lunchtime 3750 swim tough, but I got it down. I can't keep enough food or water in me these days. Such is life.

I picked up a new desktop computer today. I've been working from a laptop exclusively at work and home for 5yrs. Boy is this big honking HD monitor nice. Not like blogger pumps out 1080i or anything.

Going to stuff in some more nutrition before bed and get some much needed sleep. Big'ol gnarly brick tomorrow. But...just one workout/day is a piece of cake.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Lake Havasu Triathlon Results; 1st AG, 2nd OA

Should be posted here shortly:

I did the olympic distance today and finished #1 in my age group and #2 overall. I haven't seen my splits yet, so I can't quantitatively tell how I did. But, here is what I do know.

Swim - water was a cool 62 degrees and made for perfect wetsuit open water racing temp. This past week I did all my swims in my Zoot Zenith wetsuit (THANKS ZOOT!) while at the pool so I felt accustomed to my suit. I started off pretty fast, but smooth. I have also been working at relaxing and finding easy speed while going hard. Worked pretty good. I "let" three leaders get away at the first buoy. Good lesson and something I've forgotten. How important it is to stay focused at critical moments of the race. Just a little discomfort pays back dividends later. Point taken. After that I hopped on a guys feet for about 200 then went around him and set my own pace. This is training after all. Myself and two other guys formed the chase. I have not been doing a lot of swimming, but I felt totally fine/strong enough and held a reasonable pace. We'll see when the splits come in, but the time will be fair.

T1 - SUCKED! Another reminder that practice is critical when every second counts. I didn't run out of the water hard/fast enough, fumbled around with my zipper etc etc. I got my wetsuit all hung up on the timing chip around my ankle. Tick tock. Next calamity was with my shoes. I am not a roadie, but an Xterra guy...and I've never played around with leaving my shoes clipped in...but today I tried. What a mess. I probably lost at least 30sec screwing around trying to get my feet into my shoes. I even went off the road twice. So, don't try new stuff on race day. Again, point taken.

Once on the bike I felt good and was ready to fly on my new Kuota Kween K (THANKS TRISPORTS.COM!) I had a nice set of 56mm, Easton EC90 Aero tubular wheels compliments of Focus Cyclery (THANKS FOCUS!). The course had some fairly long stretches of flat road a couple of 1:30min climbs, tons of corners, rollers and 2 or 3 really really steep, little ring, stand up style short climbs. I road ok, but three things would make for a much better performance next time.

  1. Get accustomed to my bike. Riding aero fast is much different that riding hard on my road bike or mtb. Duh. I had only done one ride with any effort on the bike ever prior to the race.
  2. Get accustomed to road tri biking. Honestly, the bikes at road tris I've done are boring. I mean c'mon, how could they ever compare to racing flat out on twisty single track on a mtb in Ogden or blasting along the flume trail above Lake Tahoe? But, if I want to actually do well at a road tri, I ought to consider modifying my training to get use to the mindless ahead.
  3. Get my shifting working correctly. Not sure what the deal was today, but I was only solidly in a gear a couple of times throughout the race. Major bummer as this race required tons of shifting to do it right.

The last final stretch of ~4 miles was pretty straight and flat for the most part, but into a pretty dead on headwind of about 15-20mph. Some guy who I passed at the start of the section decided to jump on my wheel and draft. It took a while to drop him particularly since the only gears that weren't skipping were my two biggest. No horsepower for those. After the race while talking about the drafting incident, I was enlightened about how drafting at some races has been a big problem. It makes me not want to race on the road. Period.

My plan on the run was to go until I pucked. That didn't happen, but I ran fair. I focused on high turnover right from the start and before long I was in run mode. The course was basically flat out and back road the whole way except for a 1/5 mile of sand and a ~40 step staircase. I pushed, but not too hard like I had wanted, but I was starting getting way dehydrated and felt on the verge of multi-muscle cramping although nothing that hampered my pace.

On the bike there were many places to spot the competition and the same held true on the run. I didn't see the guy ahead of me at any point. Not saying I could have caught him, but had I seen him, I can guarantee I would have buried myself trying to chase him down on the run.

There you have it. I lost ~1:15 on the swim, another :30 in T1, ~:30 messing with my shoes and, most likely, the majority of the rest on the bike. I lost the overall by 3min.

Considering the last three races this season I DNF'd, I'll take today's race as a success.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Great Time Trial Intervals

Today was a solid day of quality on the run and on the bike.

During my lunch time run the main set was 4x6min @ zone 4. My legs have been sluggish for a while and were again today. I don't go by HR as much as go by both pace (Garmin Forerunner 305) and perceived effort.

This evening I hit a great set that I know will pay dividends as it builds. It went like this:
-warm up
-5x5min intervals at 105% of FTP power w/2min rest between each
-1omin spin
-5x1min intervals at at 160% of FTP power w/4min rest between each

This set will certainly grow. Longer. Less rest. More power. Not all at once though.

I also debuted my new road shoe/pedal set up. Not quite dialed in, but close.

Pedals: Speedplay Zero Titanium (in yellow)

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Solid Week and NO RACING

After last weekend's race debacle, I was looking forward to a nice week of simply training. This week didn't disappoint one bit. Due to my lip stitches I didn't get into the water until Friday. This made room for lots'o riding. All road bike. 4x group rides and 1x quality solo session.

I hit the M/W/F 5am group rides and a 70 mile group ride on Saturday. More and more people have been coming out of the woodwork as the race season is upon the weather is killer. It actually felt hot this week with temps creeping into the upper 80s. Not that group ride power numbers are what I am after, but I did set some all-time high marks this week. By time Saturday's ride came around I was pretty tired and I had to earn every pedal stroke. By the end of the ride I was bonking pretty good. add insult to injury I bonked again on my run later in the day. Nice day! In hindsight it was 90% poor nutrition. I can't believe I still make poor food decisions, but it happens.

Tonight I just wrapped up a nice 3500y swim. Pretty basic main set of 8x300 at a "moderate" pace with :20 rest in between each. By the end of the set I was going :07/100 faster than when I had started. Swimming is such a form thing it's sick. Plus, I am learning that I need quite a warm-up...particularly after a long week.

Also today I was supposed to do another 10k race. Well I didn't do it. I just wasn't feeling up to the whole race-day thing. It's long and tiring and in this case not that big of a pay-off. I did however go to the job on one of my favorite trails. I did a 10min warm-up with 1 moderate and 1 race-pace acceleration. Again, back to the warm-up thing, not quite enough. I need like 20min with 3-4 accels. Whatever, I did the thing hard. Not fast, but hard. The course is 95% on trails and has 1,000ft of climbing.

I am kind of moving from a run phase to more of a bike/swim phase. Will be fun. At the end of this week I will be down in Tucson helping out with a Grasky Endurance Camp and with Trifest.