Building a Road Map
I’ve recently been looking over some of my old training data and trying to apply it to training for three sports instead of one (swim/bike/run). I thought it might be a fun idea to share a little bit about how I track my training/racing.
TrainingPeaks.com is an awesome resource for tracking training and metric data. One that I’ve been using for a long time in conjunction with WKO+. Thankfully, both utilities work incredibly well with triathlon. Essentially, TrainingPeaks.com allows you to both plan workouts and then go back and analyze data as well as gauge fitness. This includes things like power/heart rate data, GPS, and your own personal description of the workout. You can track race data as well, but it’s not quite as robust as it should be. The main issue is handling multisport files. Read more
I’m two(ish) weeks post surgery and all I can say is I hope others reading this blog don’t have to got through the same issues as I have. The drugs are terrible, the pain is so bad, even with medication, that I can’t ride on anything but the trainer and not being able to swim eight weeks out from my first race is sort of a problem.
On the plus side, bike and run training are actually going pretty well. On the run side, my anticipated 5k time has continued to drop. I now estimate it to be around 5:45 a mile, down from 6:00. And I am getting more and more comfortable on my long runs. I do plan to add some more transitions runs shortly, so I don’t flop coming off the bike when it really counts.
Triathlon is a strange beast. If I told you it was three sports, I wouldn’t quite be telling the truth. If I said it was one, that wouldn’t be quite right either. The truth of the matter is that tri is three sports in one, but each one has a symbiotic relationship with the other two, which is somewhat obvious to the naked eye, but that exact relationship may not be as simple. Specifically, recovery is much more of a balancing act than I anticipated. I always thought there was some residual fatigue between workouts, but couldn’t never quite fathom exactly what that meant. Learning the push and pull between stimulus and recovery will probably be my greatest challenge in taking up triathlon. After several weeks of training, I now have an initial idea of what that means: Read more
I’ve scheduled my first race and it’s going to be the 5430 Sprint Triathlon in Boulder. My form, so far, is coming along nicely to the point where I think I will be in contention for a top 10 overall or better. The biggest question mark for me, at this point, is the swim. My plan of attack is to continue to work on my form as well as get some more solid endurance swim sets in. Additionally, I plan on going to a few Master’s swim sessions to gain a little more top end speed. Read more
A New Set of Goals for 2012
With my departure from road racing, I’ve had to scramble to come up with some new goals for my budding triathlon career (I use that term loosely). Why am I posting them like this in a public forum? Easy. If I make them public, then I can’t hide from them later. Now, when someone asks me if I am a 5:40 runner, I can’t say, “I’m really only shooting for 6:00”. I have to be accountable about where I am. This also has the added side effect of ensuring that *I* can’t fool myself into thinking that I’m hot stuff when I’m really not (or am hotter than expected)! Read more
The Pain Cave
There’s been a lot of change in my life the last couple of weeks. Not only have I converted full-time to triathlon, changed my bike fit and moved to a new apartment. The first order of business has been finding appropriate training routes, which has been difficult given the new suburban area I now live. All is not lost though, this new-found challenge has given me motivation to try something new in my training. Trainer work! Read more
Getting in the Groove
Well, my second week of triathlon training is now behind me and I’ve made some solid progress. The hours this week are still light due to me wanting to properly acclimate my body to running and swimming. The last thing I need is another injury. Actually, this transition has been easier than I anticipated, but that may just be the honeymoon period. In the coming weeks I’ll have my racing schedule ready to be revealed, but, until then, you’ll just have to imagine what my racing plans will be!
I have had a couple of major lessons learned and they were both in the realm of recovery. Firstly, I learned that I need to spread my sessions out more. I struggled through a couple of FTP session on the bike because I was still exhausted from my swim. I’m still so new to swimming that any session I do is an intense one because I have only one speed (fast). As I progress, I suspect this will be less and less of a problem. The second lesson has been in overall food intake. I’m struggling to keep my weight up due to the increased training loads of the three sports. Normally, I sit comfortably at around 143, but I’ve dipped down to 139, which is too low. With the added upper body mass of swimming, I’d like to see my self somewhere between 150-155 pounds and 10% body fat. Read more
Goals for 2011
Looking back at my 2010 season, I can honestly say that it was a roller coaster ride of, mostly, success the entire way and now that I’m coming off almost a week of no riding it’s time to look forward to 2011.
This next season will be my mark on Colorado racing. My wife has given me full reign to train as much and as hard as I want to and I plan to take full advantage of it. My coach, Tony Cruz, and I were elated at my progress throughout the season and he plans on running me through the ringer this winter and through next year in order to make next year awesome. Anyway, on to the list:
Upgrade to Category 2
Win a race
Complete the entire season without a DNF (Did Not Finish), only exceptions are “Acts of God”
Podium at all four state championship events:
- John Stenner Memorial Time Trial
- Air Force Academy Road Race
- Chuck Bolden Memorial Criterium
- Air Force Academy Road Race
Contribute BAT (Best All-Around Team) points, regardless of my category
Increase FTP to 275 watts (4.2 watts/kilo) by April 1st
Increase FTP to 285 watts (4.4 watts/kilo) by November 1st
Preparing for Battle
The last couple of weeks my coach has taken no mercy on me. Ever since I received my upgrade to Cat 3, he’s taken that as a sign that he should run my body into the ground! My rides have almost entirely consisted of climbing the various mountains and canyons in the greater boulder area, which I can tell you is brutal.
Despite the torture that my coach has managed to create, I can say that I feel stronger than ever and ready to tackle a big weekend of racing starting with the BRC criterium on Saturday, which leads to the Colorado road race championship on Sunday in Colorado Springs.
I’ll report back after the racing, but I can sense good things coming!
When all the pieces come together.
Before I start, I want to give a HUGE shout out to Nate Llerandi and Tim Srenaski for really putting me through the ringer and taking me under their wing to become a better crit rider. Nate, on more than one occasion, pushed me to the point of near nausea and Tim has spent countless hours talking to me about where to be and what to be doing over the last several weeks. He, Tim, even went so far as to take me around the Niwot course a few times to show me the “ins” and “outs” of the course.
On to the race! Warm-up was smooth and predicable as always, except for the fact that my repaired Powertap from Saris was still broken. Disappointing, but it brought about an opportunity to race without any distractions. I have a weird obsessions with the numbers while riding and tend to not do well when I can see how bad I’m suffering. I took two warm-up laps after the SM 35+ 4’s race to get a feel for the course again and settled at the front of the group with Isaac, Brandon, and Chris knowing that the first two turns were going to be decisive. Isaac said to me before the start, “I don’t feel great, so I’m just going to go off from the gun.” I chuckled thinking he was joking.
“Riders ready, GO!”. Sure enough, Isaac took off like Willie Nelson from the IRS. I slotted at the front of the group and just soft pedaled through the first two corners hoping that I could block and give him the opportunity to gain some space. The peloton was not please with me. Isaac was shortly swallowed up by an agitated field. I was very good through the first ten laps; extremely aggressive in the corners and holding my position unafraid to bump elbows every now and then. Unfortunately, after the first ten laps I started thinking and starting have problems keep position without too much of a fight, though I managed to always stay in the top fifteen.
The crit itself was fairly uneventful until around twenty-two minutes to go when the guy in front of me slid out on the back stretch causing me to take extreme evasive action and almost literally scaring the piss out of me. I ran over his back wheel (sorry whoever you are) and proceeded to take the scenic route though the lawns of downtown Niwot until I was able to get back on the course and over to the Ref to take my free lap.
This time before the bunch came around was critical for me mentally. I knew I was going to get put back in at the back and that I would have to gain around fifteen positions to even be competitive for the field sprint, so I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t stop moving until I was sitting between fourth wheel. Three laps later, I was fourth wheel as we went from time to laps.
The pace was high as the laps counted down, but was more than manageable at the front because I was able to enter the turns at full speed and pick the line that I knew would be best. With one lap to go the fireworks were really starting and I was having to dig pretty deep to stay where I was and this is the moment of my final mistake. Coming down the stretch into the last corner I hesitated as four guys jumped. As Nate would say, “I started thinking and stopped reacting.” They got a ten foot gap going into the last corner that I couldn’t close in the final sprint, landing me sixth overall.
This was by far my best result in a crit this season and it’s something that I think I can easily repeat. It wasn’t a result of strength but of aggressiveness. With that said, I still have some work to do when it comes to cornering while in a group as well as keeping the proper aggressive mindset throughout and entire crit, but this race was certainly and gigantic step in the right direction.
POST MORTUM: While I was awarded sixth at the race site, it was later discovered that the rider who placed second was actually Cat 3 and was subsequently disqualified. My placing has been updated to fifth and I honestly couldn’t be happier.