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2/03/2012 | | Share

19 weeks into official Ironman training and I’m tired.  The past 3 wks have been marginal at best, with power levels on the bike dropping (when they should be improving) and a feeling like I’m unable to fully recover.  14 of the past 17 weeks have included 20+ hours/week of training.  Light week this past week and still tired.  So it’s time for some adjustments as we head into the final 10 wks of training before tapering.  Here’s the plan: Take 3 days off completely.  No swimming, biking, running or strength training Nutrition has been consistently good.  Re-assess a couple of the supplements, but otherwise continue trend Use the extra time to grab a little extra sleep and crank out … MORE

1/16/2012 | | Share

This past Saturday represented the next phase of race-day nutrition and pacing for the upcoming Ironman Triathlon event in early May.  It began with a 2+ mile (1 hr) Vasa swim at 6 AM and wrapped up with a 16 mile (2+ hr) run with a 112 mile (approx 6 hr) ride of the St. George Ironman course on the Computrainer (which mimics the hills of the course).  While this sort of workout isn’t typically found in most Ironman training schedules (it was 10 miles short of a full Ironman), it’s been incredibly valuable so far.  This time around, it became obvious that I’m attempting to hold my power on the bike too high for the first 80 miles.  This … MORE

12/20/2011 | | Share

New workout last weekend represented a new strategy in the Ironman preparation – the 8 hour swim/bike/run.  It was all completed within the 15 x 10 SF area in our basement and included approximately a 1 hr swim on the Vasa machine, 6 hrs on the Computrainer riding the 112 mile St. George course and then running close to an hour at sub 7 min/mile on the treadmill.  Why?  Two primary purposes.  The first was to further fine-tune the race day fueling plan (what works during a 4-5 hr workout likely won’t be as effective during a 10 hr event).  The second was to “normalize” the ironman distance (again – if longest pre-race workout is just 4-5 hrs, race day … MORE

11/30/2011 | | Share

Like you, I’m always trying to learn new things.  And yesterday I picked up a couple of tips to help avoid the negative effects of illness during this time of the year when they’re all around us and my Ironman training volume likely has my defenses down a bit.  The two items I’ll be adding to my morning smoothie concoction are Aloe Vera Juice and Oil of Oregano, which are both known to enhance immunity in the body.  The aloe is a slam dunk – not “tasty” but almost stands on it’s own.  But the oil of oregano?  Oh my word!  It’s awful (and awfully strong!).  When I first dropped a few droplets into my mouth after leaving the store, … MORE

11/19/2011 | | Share

Currently about 10 weeks into the base building phase.  The goal is to build an outstanding base through the end of December and then begin upping specific intensity, aero position training and race specific workouts.  As noted previously, multiple changes to this season’s training, including 2+ hrs/wk of strengthening, a minimum of 3 days at the pool, a maximum of 6 hrs/wk of running (where most injuries originate), limited intensity on the run training (little to no intervals – focus on bricks and tempo training), scheduling based on RestWise score each day, Compex electrical stim twice/wk and probably most importantly – a strong nutritional focus.  I’ve been following the Paleo Diet for Athletes (Cordain and Friel) over the past 2 … MORE

11/01/2011 | | Share

If you’ve been tuning into this blog over time, you know that the past couple of years, while fantastic in many ways, have been a disappointment on the competitive front.  A broken ankle in 2010 (during a 14er hike with the family) and then a fractured fibula during a 70.3 Tri (first race of the season) resulted in two years without the pleasure of racing.  But hope springs eternal, and over the past 2 months, I’ve been gradually increasing my training to the higher volume levels.  And today, I officially registered for Ironman St. George, which will take place in Utah in May of 2012.  For those of you who may not be familiar with triathlon distances, this is one … MORE

10/07/2011 | | Share

We’re about 5 weeks in at this point and will gradually begin adding foods back in starting next week, beginning with potatoes. The results? As mentioned previously, as with any habit, it gets easier with each passing week. In fact, at this point, just about all cravings are gone. I’ve come to enjoy what we’re eating, and really don’t miss any of the previous items on a daily basis. More interesting has been my body’s response to training and recovery. I was coming off an injury and have gradually built my training volume back up to the 16-20 hour/week level in preparation for beginning Ironman training on November 1st. And in spite of the significant build, I seem to be … MORE

9/30/2011 | | Share

We’re just about a month into the process now and, just as the experts advise, the habits are beginning to form. I’ve discovered ways to get the extra calories to balance out my workouts, learned some delicious options of what I CAN eat (rather than focusing on what I can’t), and frankly – it’s working very well. In fact, as I may have mentioned in a previous post, I’m planning to maintain 80% of this eating strategy as I move into the coming season of triathlon training. A couple of interesting discoveries along the way… First, I’m amazed at how much of our society is built around food. Parties, sporting events, meetings, celebrations – they’re all focused on food! Obviously … MORE

9/24/2011 | | Share

We’ve turned the corner. While we’re still eliminating all refined sugars, processed foods, breads, grains, dairy, alcohol and a few other select items from our eating, we added back in rice and almonds this week – and it made a BIG difference. Seriously – it may not sound like that big of an addition, but it’s all in perspective. Previously we were eating only fruits, veggies and lean meats. The addition of rice and almonds provided additional snack options such as rice cakes with almond butter, which was a wonderful supplement. The one other addition was the Doc approved me adding Perpeteum (a soy-based, low sugar fuel) for use when riding over 2 hours, as I simply couldn’t store enough … MORE

9/19/2011 | | Share

Quick update as promised on this short-term eating journey we’re walking with our daughter. We’re now just about 2 weeks in at this point. Similar feelings persist – I miss the stuff I’m used to eating. I occasionally catch myself staring a bit longingly at something on our shelves that is off limits for now (cue the violin music). And at a friend’s birthday party Saturday night, the discipline levels had to be launched to new levels to resist all the great foods and wine available (water and a carrot? Sure!). But it’s getting a little easier. My lunches have been delicious, consisting of a spinach, avocado, onion, cucumber salad with olive oil, salt and pepper along with salmon or … MORE

9/09/2011 | | Share

We made it through what we were told would be the toughest part of the process of eliminating common foods that may cause reactions (the first 3 days) so time for an update. The toughest part for me has been breaking long-held habits. Seemingly simple things like a bowl of yogurt as a snack or a handful of nut mix as a supplement when in the car or a glass of wine with dinner are off limits for at least 35 days. Meals consist of almost exclusively fruits, veggies, lean meats and water. Obviously healthy choices, but I must admit that even though I’m already used to eating very healthy, I miss some of my standard supplements – and I’m … MORE

9/05/2011 | | Share

CT scan on the leg was negative last week, so I’m thankful to be able to wind back up the cycling and running for the first time since April! Stay tuned for where that may lead in the season ahead. However, in the mean time, I’m going to join my 14 year old daughter on what is likely to be a very interesting nutritional journey over (approximately) the next 2 months. She has kept her head high and her smile bright through some pretty serious responses to various foods, and is now ready to participate in a “Food Elimination Discovery Journey.” Since a lot of folks deal with these issues, I figured it would be a valuable experience to join … MORE

8/09/2011 | | Share

On Sunday, I had the opportunity to be the object of my own little case study. The topic? How fast can I complete the 13.1 mile run portion of a Half Ironman (Boulder 70.3) after not having run for 4 months due to a broken fibula and wearing an air cast on my leg. Going into the event, I planned to step off the course if the leg started feeling worse, and also wore the air cast during the 56 mi bike portion to provide the greatest possible stability going into the run itself. The outcome was interesting – and somewhat encouraging. I started off conservatively, going through the first 6 miles at about 7:05 pace/mile. At that point, the … MORE

7/24/2011 | | Share

When I look back at many of the biggest disappointments in my life, there’s an interesting trend developing — disappointment appears to be the catalyst for new – and better – discoveries. Details can wait for another day, but for those of you struggling with an injury that’s affecting your training, I was hoping this would be an encouragement to you. My past 2 1/2 seasons in triathlon have been pretty disappointing. Freak accidents (broken ankle while hiking with the kids last year and then a fractured fibula in a race early this year) have limited my running significantly, and essentially ended two seasons before they had a chance to get started. So I’ve spent more and more time on … MORE

6/08/2011 | | Share

Today was one of those tough, tough workouts that drains every bit of energy, but pays off immensely in the long run, or in this case, the long “cycle.” 4 training buddies and I met early this morning and lined up for a 10 mile time trial (TT) on our bikes. Once complete, we rode easy to recover for 5 minutes and then did it again. And then again. And then again. All total, we did 4 draft-free 10 mile TT with 5 minutes recovery in between each. Absolutely nothing left at the end, but without a doubt it was an immense deposit in the fitness bank that can be withdrawn later in the season. Good stuff! Would love to … MORE

5/25/2011 | | Share

It’s an undeniable fact when it comes to training intensity: Iron really does sharpen iron. This morning I got out with a buddy of mine – Terry Nugent – for a series of three back-to-back 10 mile time trials (cycling) with about 6 minutes of recovery between each. To say we both pushed ourselves far harder when out there together compared to what would have happened solo would be a significant understatement. If you’re looking to step up your the intensity (and results!) in your fitness pursuits, connect with like-minded friend and release the jet fuel!

4/30/2011 | | Share

This one hurts, but it’s the right decision. A friend of mine had talked me into signing up for Ironman St George a few weeks before the event. Normally that would be ridiculous, but I had a couple good months of training under my belt and thought it would be a nice change to just “jump in” and do it rather than having it weighing on me for a year (most Ironman’s fill so far in advance you must sign up a year early to get in). A great half Ironman 3 wks before the race, which included an encouraging run course record and 2nd overall finish made it look like a good decision. But a serious lower leg injury … MORE

4/02/2011 | | Share

Earlier this season, I posted a note about several adjustments made to the training strategy for this triathlon season. One of the most significant was a greater emphasis on cycling and a decreased emphasis on both the quality and quantity of the running. I’m naturally more of a runner, so in the past, I made it a priority to focus in on 2 very high-end run sessions (track work and tempo work). These were valuable, but they also produced fatigue that resulted in lower quality cycling training. My hope was that, come race day, I’d be faster on the bike but more importantly be fresh going into the run (since the extra bike training would make the race a lower … MORE

2/11/2011 | | Share

It’s been awhile since making an entry, so thought it would be a good time to catch you up.  After two years of crazy injuries (from a Vitamin D deficiency-induced stress fracture to a busted ankle sustained on a hike of Colorado’s 14ers that occurred right when I was almost back to the parking lot!), I’ve been training consistently but unable to race effectively.  And while it was good to get some variety in during that interim, I’m looking forward to racing here in 2011 if all goes well. But I’m also planning on trying several new things this season.  If you’re curious, check in occasionally and I’ll try to provide an occasional update.  What do those “new things” involve?  … MORE