Sunday, June 28, 2009

This weeks Ironman Training 6/22-28/2009

Hello Dear Readers!

It's been a long week of training and the heat in Houston has not helped. Pretty much every day we broke a heat record. Work has been pretty crazy so I finally have some time to blog about my training exploits. A lot of people have asked me how I train for these events and also find the time to work and be with the family. I tell you it isn't easy sometimes but it breaks down to these things:

1. Great Time Management
2. Flexible Work Hours
3. Have Support from your Family

I cannot stress enough how important item three is. I am sometimes gone for 6 hours at a time on the weekends and it takes a angel of a wife to put up with my absences, aches, pain, crashes, cuts, bandages, well you get it.

Anyway, on to the training sessions!

Monday's Swim Workout 6/22/2009

This day's session was a 4000 meter swim. It broke down the following way:

Warm Up: 3 x 300 as 1 free/ 1 kick 1 choice on 20 sec. rest, 9 x 100 free or pull easy on 15 sec. rest.
Main Set: 14 x 100 as: 25 drill/50free/25drill on 10 sec. rest.
Cool Down: 15 x 50 as: 4 free/ 4 drill/ 4 kick easy on 10 sec. rest.

It was a terrible workout. I felt like poo poo and struggled the whole time. But I got through it.

Later that night I did a weight lifting session.

Tuesday's Bike Trainer and Transition Run 6/23/2009

This was a combination of Biking on the indoor trainer and then running 4 miles right afterward. The bike session was as follows:

6 X 5 MIN. AT HR#4 HIGH to 5a with first 2min in aerobars, 2min standing and 1min fast spin/ 3 MIN EASY BETWEEN

My 4 mile run was done at a 9:30 per mile pace. Felt pretty good actually and things seemed to be clicking in place.

Wednesday's Bike and Run Session 6/24/2009

This day was a doosey. I had two separate workouts. The first was a 6 mile run in the morning. I did the first five miles at a pace of around 10 minutes per mile and then I ran the last mile in 9:36. It was really early in the morning and so I didn't overheat.

After work I did a 40 mile ride. It was so darn hot. heat index was about 107 degrees and I felt like I was riding in a oven set to broil! About 20 miles in it started getting a little cooler and I felt much better. Finished the 40 miles in just over 2 hours at a 18 mile per hour pace.

Thursday's Run Session 6/25/2009

I only had to run on this day. I did 8 miles with some really great times (minutes per mile):

Mile 1: 9:52
Mile 2: 9:27
Mile 3: 8:33
Mile 4: 9:37
Mile 5: 9:50
Mile 6: 9:28
Mile 7: 9:57
Mile 8: 9:09

Later that night I did a weight lifting session.

Friday's Swim Session 6/26/2009

This swim session was 3500 meters performed as:

Warm Up: 4 x 400 as: 1 free/ 1 pull/ 1 free/ 1 kick on 30 sec. rest
Main Set: 2 x 500 at IM pace on 1 min. rest, 4 x 150 pull on 15 sec. rest
Cool Down: 200 choice easy

I was really really happy with this workout. I had my 100 meter splits in about 1:45 and that is very fast for me.

Saturday's LONG Run Session 6/27/2009

I had a very long workout that day. Ran 22 miles. Started a little later than I should have and by the time I got done, the temperature was over 100 degrees again. I did 4 loops on this one as:

7 Miles in 1:10:27
6 Miles in 1:03:19
5 Miles in 1:02:27
4 Miles in 0:47:50

Note I was doing great for 13 miles or so, but the heat really started getting to me. The last miles were agonizingly slow. At the end of each lap I was putting ice under my hat, in a towel around my neck and (yes this works) in my pants!

Sunday's Bike/Run Combination Session (and they call me the sprinkler and water bandit!) 6/28/2009

This was a really great day for me. I got up extremely early this morning and rode 80 miles and then immediately ran 5 miles after that. I kept myself as hydrated as possible (which still really isn't enough) and got the ride done in 4 hours and 25 minutes. I then threw on my running shoes and ran the 5 miles in under 50 minutes. This is what really pleased me the most because that shows I was not too banged up from Saturday's run and I was not overheated. Did I mention it was over 100 degrees again? Since I was overheated the day before, I took advantage of the people who were watering their lawns. I am sure there was some kid looking out the window saying "Mommy there is a scary man standing in our sprinkler system!". Just kidding, I asked the owner who was moving the sprinkler around if I could stand in it for a few minutes. He was very cool and said sure. Then at mile four, I ran onto the local golf course and poured water over my head from the bucket at the first tee. I am a member there so I don't think they will mind.

This coming week is my last hard week before the taper for the Lake Placid Ironman. We are almost there!

Well that's all for now!

Tri your best,


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ironman Training for 6/20-21/2009

Hello dear readers!

Will this heat ever go away? We haven't had rain in weeks and the temperatures have steadily been over 100 degrees every darn day! In fact as I write this at 5 PM the heat index is 103!

Saturdays Run Session 6/20/2009

Had a great run on Saturday. I left early enough that the first hour was bearable, although it still was extremely hot by the time I was done. My coach wanted me to run 14 miles at a 10:10 to 10:25 minutes per mile pace. I was feeling really good so I pushed the pace a bit every other mile or so. I recorded the data with my Garmin watch so here it is below. Note that my last mile was in 9:15 which showed that I wasn't too tired and didn't wear myself out.

At mile 12 I was cooking along and dummy here triped over a piece of the sidewalk and layed myself out. Guess what? I cut my darn hand up again and it was just getting healed nicely. Also tore open the same finger that was sliced from my pool mishap. Are the Gods of Triathlon trying to say something to me? Anyway, I still finished strong so that was that.

Sunday's 60 Mile Bike Session

I rode 60 miles with my coach (Kevin) and some of the other team members. We went on a route I had never rode before and I really really liked it. We rode along a feeder of the Highway and it was smooth as glass. There was a wicked headwind for 20 miles or so, but it became a tail wind at the end so I didn't mind too much. I graphed the route with my GPS so you can see it (click to make bigger). Contact me if you want a turn by turn map. We got done in under 3 hours so we definitely were cooking.

Tomorrow I have a really long swim and I am little worried with my hand all cut again, but I will persevere somehow!

That's all for now.

Tri your best!


Friday, June 19, 2009

Ironman Training from 6/15 through 6/19, 2009

Hello dear readers!

It's been a great week of training. Kevin (my coach) gave me some lighter workouts as a recovery week since last week's training was pretty harsh.

Swim Session for Monday, 6/15/2009

This was a 3500 meter swim done with the following sets:

Warm Up: 10 x 100 as: 4 free/ 3drill/ 3 kick on 15 sec. rest, 4 x 100 fast on 20 sec. rest.
Main Set: 4 x 200 free on 15 sec. rest, 4 x 100 drills on 20 sec. rest, 2 x 200 free on 10 sec. rest
Cool Down: 500 choice easy

It was a pretty slow swim. Couldn't kick worth a darn! My legs were like noodles. Or at least more noodly than usual!

Bike and Transition Run Session for Tuesday, 6/16/2009

This was a bike/run combination workout. The bike session was performed on a indoor trainer the following way:

4 x 45 sec. SLD (single leg drill) on 1 minute
12 min. at Hr #low 4 / 5 min easy
10 min. at Hr #High4 / 3 min easy
8 min. at Hr# High 4-5a
10 min. cool down

After this was done, I did a 4 mile run immediately at what was supposed to be a 9:35 minutes per mile pace. Felt really good and actually went a bit faster. Here is the breakdown:

Mile 1: 8:47 minutes per mile
Mile 2: 9:06 minutes per mile
Mile 3: 8:54 minutes per mile
Mile 4: 8:13 minutes per mile

2000 Meter Swim and 30 Mile Bike Session on Wednesday, 6/17/2009

I had a really busy day at work and could only get my 2000 meter swim in during the day. Again I swam kind of slow and got it done in 40 minutes or so. I could not get out during the day so I did the 30 miles on the bike at the gym. I kind of like to change this up from time to time. I kept my wattage at 250 and was finished in 2 hours and 10 minutes.

8 Mile Run Session on Thursday, 6/18/2009

This was a fun session because I still was feeling OK from earlier in the week. As you will see in the breakdown, I had a few miles that were a little slow. This workout has six 45 second accelerations and each one was pretty fast. When not doing the accelerations I needed to keep the pace at 10 minutes per mile or so.

Mile 1: 10:02 minutes per mile
Mile 2: 10:00 minutes per mile
Mile 3: 9:02 minutes per mile
Mile 4: 9:31 minutes per mile
Mile 5: 9:59 minutes per mile
Mile 6: 10:01 minutes per mile
Mile 7: 9:33 minutes per mile
Mile 8: 9:50 minutes per mile

Most of my accelerations were at 6:30 minutes per mile.

Friday was supposed to be a rest day, but I was bored and decided to go to the gym and do some weights. Felt pretty good!

That's all for now.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Training and the Tour De Braz

Hello Dear Readers!

After my Bike crash last week, I had to immediately go on Business travel. This would normally, not be that big a deal for me to train while away, but I had ZERO time! I returned on Wednesday evening and started back to training on Thursday.

Thursday's Run Session 6/11/09

It has been so hot here in Houston, that I decided to do my run indoors on the treadmill. It was 6 miles as (Minutes/Mile):

Mile 1: 10:00
Mile 2: 9:30
Mile 3: 9:20
Mile 4: 9:00
Mile 5: 9:00
Mile 6: 10:00

I was really rested from my time off during the travel and did the last mile in 8:30 pace. I then went and did a little weight lifting.

Friday's 3500 Meter Swim Session 6/12/09

This was a tough workout, my legs were a little tired from the run on Thursday, but I still did pretty well. This workout was done as:

Warm Up: 10 x 50 as: 2 free/ 3drill / 2 free/ 3drill on 10 sec. rest
Main Set: easy, aerobic – 3 x 200 free on 20 sec. rest, 600 on 1 min rest, 4 x 150 free on 15 sec. rest, 400 on 1 min rest, 3 x 100 on 10 sec. rest, 400 on 1 min rest.
Cool Down: 6 x 50 drill on 15 sec. rest

Saturday's Run Session 6/13/09

I got started a little late on this one and suffered in the heat (this is Houston you know). This run was 16 miles at 10:10 to 10:25 per mile pace. I did the whole run in 2 hours and 45 minutes. That was a average pace of 10:22 per mile. I started really well, but ended running very slow just to get through it. I am not a great runner when the heat index is over 100 degrees!

Tour De Braz 6/14/09

I had a 120 mile bike ride on my schedule for this week. Sine I crashed the week before, I wanted to do this ride with someone else. After checking my local triathlon club message board, I found out that there was a 100 mile race in Alvin on the same day as my scheduled ride!

I got up this morning at 4:45 AM and had a little breakfast and fed the dogs. I was out the door at 6:10 AM and was freaking out because the race started at 7 AM and I still had to drive 30 minutes to get there. I drove fast and got there just after 6:30 AM. There was a pretty good turnout, over 300 riders. There was a mix of distances so not all the riders were doing the full 100 miles.

The weather started out beautiful in the seventies with a light wind. We got started during the sunrise and it was truly a wondrous start to a long day. I met some nice folks and started the race at a great clip due to the tail wind. I think we were averaging 23 MPH with little effort. About two hours in we went into a headwind of 20 MPH. This caused me to slow WAAAY down. I kept it at around 18 MPH or so. This was fine by me, I was not really racing this event, just taking advantage of the SAG support and water stations ever 12 miles or so. This also gave me a chance to practice my hydration and food strategy.

About 40 miles in I was making a right hand turn and I almost crashed again JUST LIKE LAST WEEK! But I saved myself and checked my tire. Guess what, it was flat again! Now this really made me mad, since I had that tire replaced while I was gone. It was a slow leak again so I used a CO2 cartridge and made it to the next water stop that had mechanical support. They replaced my tube and I was good to go.

I hooked up with a young kid from Houston and a guy from Norway and we rode together most of the way for the last 40 miles or so. There was one bad crash that I know of. Someone's tire blew in a group and they all went down. One guy may have broken his shoulder. That's why I don't usually do these events, because everyone drafts and that means if the guy ahead of you goes down, you don't have much time to get out of the way. Of course, in Ironman, you cannot draft so that doesn't typically happen.

After mile 50 it started getting REALLY HOT! The Norwegian guy had all these gadgets on his bike and one of them measured temperature. He said it got as high as 106 degrees! I felt like I was riding in an oven!

The last 20 miles we had a tail wind and it was wonderful. I had a last burst of energy and kept it above 20 MPH the rest of the way in.

Post race I indulged in the great BBQ they had for racers and lots of liquids. Overall I was pretty happy with my performance. Of course, during the Ironman I won't actually be stopping at the water stops, but you had no choice here since you had to refill your water bottles from a jug.

Below are a few interesting graphs. The first is the analysis of my speed zones. Note I kept it pretty much around 20 MPH.

The next picture is the map of the course. Lot's of loops!

That's all for now!

Tri your best,


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Training and Crashing! OW!

Hello Dear Readers!

It's been a very busy week and I haven't been able to keep up with the blog. Our youngest graduated from High School (way to go Ryan!) and work has been crazy. But I still had some great training sessions. I also had my first major crash of the season (more on this later).

Wednesday's Run and Bike Session (6/3)

This day I had two separate sessions a run in the morning and a bike in the afternoon. The run was 6 miles at an average of 9:42 minutes per mile.

The bike session was for 30 miles. I couldn't get to it till the evening so I went to the local gym and rode it on one of their standing bikes there. Felt really strong and finished fast with an average of 23 MPH.

Thursday's Swim and Run Session (6/4)

This day was another set of two separate sessions.

In the morning I did a 2000 meter swim. I was allowed to choose whatever stroke I wanted,so I used a Pull buoy and did it all in one single set in 38 minutes. A teeny bit slow, but considering I wasn't kicking at all, not too bad.

In the afternoon I ran 8 miles with 6, 45 second accelerations. I ran a average pace of 9:37 minutes per mile and each acceleration maxed out at between 6 and 7 minute mile pace. It was super hot, so I was pretty pleased with that.

Friday's Swim Session (6/5)

Today's swim session consisted of 3500 meters swum the following way:

Warm Up: 3 x 300 free w/ 10 sec. rest; 12 x 50 w/ 10 sec. rest as: (3 free/2 stroke/1 choice); 4 x 100 pull buoy
Main Set: easy, aerobic – 2 x 100 / 2 x 200 / 1x400 / 2 x 100 all easy free on 10-20 sec. rest
Cool Down: 8 x 50 (3free/2drill/1kick)

Saturday's Run Session (6/6)

This was a long run of 20 miles. I started out going pretty well (10 minute pace for the most part, but the last 6 miles were just terrible. I was really feeling the heat and was very fatigued. I still got the distance in and sometimes running while tired really mentally prepares you for the Ironman because it will be like that during the race. So at least you know what you are in for, I finished that run in 3:37 (hours and minutes).

Sunday's Bike and CRASH!!!

OK, here is the fun one. I had planned to do 80 miles today, followed by a 4 mile run. Best laid plans, as they say, went arry. About 20 miles or so in I was making a right hand turn and my bike went out from under me. I wasn't going too fast, but I ripped up my hands, right leg and shoulder. Also ruined my nice riding shorts and shirt (darn it!).

Physically I am OK, the cuts are mostly superficial but a bit painful and bled a lot. I also bent my gear shifter, so the ride was cut short.

Here are some pics:

For safety reason's I always bring my cell phone with me and I called my wife and she came and picked me up. Funny thing is right when I crashed a female rider came along and asked if I needed help. Turns out it was Johnny Zepeda's wife and he came along a few minutes later. Johnny is the co-owner of Tri On The Run here in Houston and that's where I get a lot of my Tri gear and coaching.

He was the one that pointed out the damage to the shifter. So now I have to bring the bike in and get it fixed. I guess the timing on this was fortunate since I will be out of town for the first half of this week and it will give them time to take care of the bike.

Now everyone, don't worry, I will be fine. These things happen and physically the damage was more superficial than anything else.

I'll let everyone know how this all turns out when I get back from my business trip this week.

That's all for now!

Tri your best,


Monday, June 1, 2009

Ironman Training for 5/27 through 6/1

Hello Dear Readers!

Here are my latest workout results from the last few days. I ended this recovery week with some strong performances. I had Wednesday and Friday off from Ironman training. I took advantage of this to play a little golf and goof around a bit!

Thursday's Training (5/28)

This day's workout was a 4 mile run with a two mile time trial. I did the first two miles in a nice easy run pace. The time trial itself wasn't all that spectacular. Did the two miles in a little over 15 minutes which frankly was slower than I expected. When I looked at the graphical results, my first mile looked like this:

Note how consistent my pace and heart rate were. This is exactly how it should be.

Now lets look at mile 2:

Note how the heart rate and speed wildly vary. This is not too good. I did really push my speed and heart rate into zone 5, which shows I had some energy left over for sure. Of course, it was over 100 degrees at the local school track and I am sure that has some affect, but I was still a little disappointed.

I then did a easy 2 mile cool down. Now that school is out, my next time trial will be done early in the morning when I am fresher and the weather is a little cooler. I hope to go in under 14 minutes.

Saturday's Run (5/30)

Did a 14 mile run in the morning. Felt pretty good though I was a little tired due to lack of sleep. I kept the pace under 10 Minutes per mile and finished in 2 hours and 16 minutes. This is a pretty decent pace for me.

In the afternoon I did a 2000 yard swim. Did 500 freestyle then 500 with pull buoy and then repeated. Took 10 second rests between sets. Time was really great.

Sunday's Bike Workout (5/31)

This was a short 60 mile ride. Averaged 19 miles per hour. It was really hot and I got dehydrated at the end. Need to really watch out for this. Dehydration on the bike is one of the worst things that can happen.

Monday's Swim Workout (6/1)

This was a 3500 yard swim. The breakdown was as follows:

Warm Up: 4 x 400 as: 1 free/ 1 pull/ 1 free/ 1 kick on 30 sec. rest
Main Set: 2 x 500 at IM pace on 1 min. rest, 4 x 150 pull on 15 sec. rest
Cool Down: 200 choice easy

The longest set was the 400 meter kicking drill. It took me a whole 13 minutes! Imagine just kicking for 16 laps. It was MURDER on my legs!

Even with the slow kicking and including my rest times, I got done in 1 hour and 15 minutes. That is really great for me. My race goal is to get the whole 2.4 miles finished in 1 hour even. Considering I will have my high tech wetsuit and no rest during the race, I think this is possible. Of course, that is assuming I swim in a fairly straight line!

That's all for now.

Tri your best,