Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ironman Training

I have fielded many questions on how I trained for 2 Ironmans Triathlons in a week. Let me preface my answer by saying that I am not new to endurance sports and did my first triathlon in 1996. My first marathon was several years ago and my first Ironman was in 2005.

I say this because there are many beginner triathletes (defined as someone who has been doing triathlons consistently for less than 5 years) that want to do an Ironman Triathlon because....well, their friends did it so they want to also.

While this is GREAT for the sport, I caution those beginners who are reading this not to follow in my training footsteps as my training volume worked for me and may very well not work for you. Consult a trained professional if you decide to do 2 Ironman Triathlons in a week (I consulted one at Endurance Sports Institute and it proved invaluable).

So, with that "disclaimer" out of the way, the idea to get me ready to undertake what I considered a daunting task was to get my Training Stress Score (as calculated by my coach and not some on-line generic calculation) so high that when I actually completed the first Ironman of the week on August 31, 2008 (Ironman Louisville 2008) it would not be a shock to my system, but would rather feel like a long training day.

Please feel free to peruse my training logs, which are all open access to view. Just click on the lefthand side of the webpage to view the logs, week by week.

In summary, here is what my total weekly volume looked like from January 1, 2008 up to the first Ironman of the week. (click on graph below to enlarge)

As you can see, I didn't do a ton of volume. Having a coach that knows you well allows you to train SMART and not to train HARD. Being successful at endurance training is just like being successful at endurance racing; you need to become highly efficient and "saddle time" is a "waste of time" if there is no purpose to the workout other than just "being on the bike". If you find yourself needing to just get "saddle time" to get used to the high mileage, then it may be a good idea to not attempt to do 2 Ironmans in a week, as injury may result.

Every single ride I did over 100 miles (about 5-6 times) there was a purpose and a focused heart rate zone I needed to be in. This allowed my body to continue to increase its endurance capacity and therefore had a "purpose".

Below is a pie chart that breaks down the mileage I did in each discipline from January 1 2008 including BOTH Ironman races. The distance/volume for both Ironman races are what make up the "281.20 miles, 7.453% race" portion of the chart. The pie chart below includes biking and running distances within "brick" workouts; which were a bike ride then a run immediately following. Sometimes they were single bricks and sometimes they were double bricks. I mention this because the bike distance and run distances are slightly lower than what I actually did because of this. (click on the chart below to enlarge)

Please help make a difference -

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


2 Ironmans in a week has officially been written in the book. On Sunday, September 7, 2008 I accomplished what I secretly thought was a VERY lofty goal that had a pretty big chance of not being accomplished due to injury, sickness, or just plain can't finish.

But the mission has been completed and for those interested, here is how Ironman Wisconsin 2008 went down:

SWIM: I swam at 40%-50% of maximum race effort. Wanted to just take it easy because I know for an Ironman race, going 50% effort or 90% effort is just going to get me 10 minutes....not worth the effort since I had NO IDEA how I would perform only 156 hours since my last Ironman triathlon.

Swim time: 1 hour 11 minutes

BIKE: I modified my nutrition from last week at Ironman Louisville so that I wouldn't have the same gastrointestinal issues on the bike as I did IM Louisville. It worked. I felt only slight gastrointestinal issues for about 20 min, but fixed it and never felt them again. Had a heart rate cap of 150 beats per minute, meaning I should not exceed this heart rate at anytime during the bike (150bpm is my maximum lactate steady state heart rate) but raced most of the race at 140+ heart rate except for the hills where I rested (literally rested while climbing the hills). Since I was "scared" of the marathon and expected the wheels to fall off during the run portion of this race due to my "mission of 2 Ironmans in a week" I took it TOTALLY EASY on the hills.

What does "totally easy" on the hills mean? Well, with no exaggeration, I rested on the hills. I climbed them at about 30-40 revolutions per minute, sat up out of my aerobars, and let my heart rate DROP during the climbs to around 130bpm staying relaxed and breathing through my nose. Yes, I was cycling uphill at around 3-4 miles per hour (no joke) but I really didn't want to blow my legs out and walk the marathon...too long of a day. People were walking alongside my bike as I climbed and they were going the same speed as I was.

My right knee started to bother me and get tender around mile 40; which scared me because I felt this was Ironman Louisville rearing its ugly head (can you say "injury"). I felt that I may be overdoing this 2 Ironman thing and this was just one bad idea I I babied it on the bike pressing more on the left leg...but stopped that pretty quickly once I realized my overcompensation was going to cause something else to hurt by the time the 112m bike was done. My right knee didn't get anymore tender once I stopped babying it, but it also didn't get any better.

Wind on the 2nd loop picked up a bit, but nothing serious. Around 10-13mph is all, nothing I haven't ridden in before so I just stuck my head down and kept working...keeping my heart rate firmly into the 140-148bpm just below my maximum lactate steady state heart rate of 150bpm. It worked well because I finished about 5 minutes faster than my Ironman Louisville bike split. I was happy but not surprised at my split getting off the bike.

Bike time: 6 hours 5 minutes

RUN: My coach told me that I should pretty much ignore my heart rate and run by Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) since my heart rate would probably be doing weird things by this time, esp after I did an Ironman just a week ago. He told me to run at an effort that felt like I was working just a little bit...but not too hard.

Ok, check.

Out of the second transition I took 2 doses of Aleve tablets to help any pain that might start in my right knee and then I started runninng at this RPE...just run so I felt like I was working just a little bit, but nothing too hard. 1st split 8:34 minutes per mile. For those of you who don't know me....that's historically VERY fast for an Ironman mile pace for me. But I didn't question it, I felt good, and was running at the appropriate RPE so I kept it up.

Well I ran like Forrest Gump. I just kept runnin' and runnin' and runnin' and miles 4, 7, 10, 13, all came and went and I didn't slow down! I thought to myself....what the hell is going on? I walked the hills to save my legs because my history has shown me that I always slow down to a walk/run pace around Mile 18 and then it's then just survival mode for the rest of the Ironman race. But it didn't happen! I kept churning out an 8:25-8:30 minutes per mile pace and figured eventually it would catch up to me and I would have stop and do a walk/run (aka the Ironman Shuffle) until the finish line but I didn't care and I just kept up my RPE where I was told to and let the pace continue be what it was. I didn't feel any need to slow down, so I didn't.

A fellow racer who slowly passed me about mile 18 asked..."how do you feel?" I replied "unbelievably amazing." He turned to me with a look of confusion, didn't say another word and just kept going...but that's how I felt...unbelievably amazing!

Oh yeah I almost forgot, the 2nd loop of the run (miles 13-26) I walked a little slower on the hills because, as I mentioned already, I really thought I would slow down around mile 18ish and I wanted to save my legs the best I could for what I thought would be the inevitable Ironman Shuffle that was forthcoming.

Well once mile 20, 21, and 22 came along and I was still throwing down 8:30min/miles I just couldn't contain myself (although I did). I was so amazingly excited about what I was about to accomplish.

See, there are these goosebumps you get at the end of an Ironman triathlon with the crowd screaming at the top of their lungs just for you (for that minute and a half as you run down the finish chute) and they have the rock music playing and Mike Reilly is yelling to everyone "you are an Ironman"...yeah, those goosebumps...well, I got those goosebumps early and they came around mile 23 when I thought about what I was about to accomplish...the fastest Ironman race ever for me. Goosebumps, goosebumps, goosebumps.

I crossed the finish line in the daylight (something I've never done before in an Ironman) and crushed my Personal Best time by over an hour with a finish time of 11 hours and 38 minutes.

A miracle occurred in Madison, Wisconsin and it happened on Sunday, September 7, 2008 at 6:38pm when I crossed that finish line.

I have no idea how I did it or why it happened but to this day I still can't believe what I have accomplished...something honestly well beyond what I expected or even thought I was capable of.

I must tip my hat to my coach. He's an unbelievable coach that obviously knows what he's doing. I have no idea what he puts in that flux capacitor of his to spit out the weekly training plans he's been giving me...but he obviously did it right.

After 12 years in the sport of triathlon, several 24 hour adventure races, several 10k rucksack runs in the military, blah, blah, blah, I thought I knew my body and its athletic endurance ability.

Well, I guess not! Smile

I am firmly planted on Cloud 9 and the view is amazing from up here.

I have coined a new phrase out of this experience: "You have not tasted success until you have succeeded at something you truly thought not possible"

Please help make a difference -

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ironman Wisconsin

Well yesterday was the final leg of my mission.  I had no idea what would happen but suspected the wheels would fall off in the marathon portion of the race and I would walk most of it.

What ended up happening was something that surprised everyone, especially me.

I felt unbelievable on the marathon portion and just keep running and running like forest gump...all the way to the finish line and beat my Personal Record for an Ironman race by over 1 hour!!

I still can't believe it happened and I suppose only endurance athletes may comprehend how big of a deal this is....but trust me, doing something you had no idea if you could complete (2 ironmans in a week) and then just hitting the ball out of the park when you did it....well....just is so truly amazing that I am firmly sitting on Cloud 9 today and will most likely be here all week. (Ha ha ha)

Full race report to follow shortly.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ironman Recovery Week

Well, this week is all about recovery.

I've received so many questions about how I plan to attempt to recover a bit from Ironman Louisville so that I have the ability to complete Ironman Wisconsin. So here's what I'm doing this week to recover and get ready to race again.

  1. I got a massage immediately after I finished Ironman Louisville, got another 1 hr massage on Tuesday, will get another 1 hr massage on thursday, and get a final 30 min massage on Saturday before the Ironman Wisconsin race.
  2. I am taking a nightly dose of Hammer Nutrition's Whey protein protocal; which raises the human growth hormone production during sleep. It also contains Glutamine; which promotes the immune system so I don't get sick from wearing down my body so much.
  3. I'm sleeping in compression tights ( to improve blood circulation in my legs.
  4. I'm taking (and have been for about 2 months now) Hammer Nutrition's "Daily Essentials" Premium Insurance Caps, Mito Caps, and Race Caps Supreme.
  5. I'm downing Ensure like there is no tomorrow (six 350 calorie cans each day) to jack up my caloric intake this week since I burned 10,000-12,000 calories this past Sunday and will burn another 10,000-12,000 calories again this coming Sunday.
  6. Drinking about 34 ounces of water an hour to continue to flush out the toxins and help with recovery.
  7. Taking Hammer Nutrition REM caps each night so I get a solid 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
  8. Went aqua jogging for 10-15 minutes and did some backstroke for about 10 minutes on Tuesday night to keep the blood flowing through the muscles and promote repair and recovery of the muscle fibers.
  9. Took an ice bath immediately following the post-race massage on sunday. BBBRRRRRR!!
  10. Playing with my son each day to keep my spirits up and allow my body to produce those great beneficial hormones it produces when we laugh and have fun!
So that's it. We'll see what happens on Sunday. (yikes!)

Please help make a difference -

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ironman Louisville 2008 Race Report

Mission #1 Accomplished.

The goal was to take this first Ironman this week at 50% race effort so the wheels don't fall off at Ironman Wisconsin next weekend.

SWIM: TT start, kinda strange for an Ironman. I prefer the mass start. Anyway, got to swim start and just lollygagged through the swim...even did some backstroke for much of it to mix it up a bit and balance out the muscle effort. Ended up swimming pretty far off course due to the backstroke...oh well. Funny part of the swim was that I had to swim about 30 degrees off center in order to swim straight because the current was pushing into the KY shore. Swim time 1:17

BIKE: I rode this course in it's entirety about a month ago so I knew exactly what to expect; which we all know is a good thing. Some rookie yelled out during the first 12 miles of the bike to cyclists passing him "Hey slow down you guys, this is a 112 mile bike." I was so flabbergasted and pissed off at the audacity of this guy that I retorted as loud as I could, Holy #^@ are you serious? I didn't know this was 112 miles. Why didn't anyone tell me this was 112 miles. Thank you so much for letting us know. (that guy was unbelievable)

Anyway, 1st leg of the bike was fine but the middle of the bike I started to have some nutritional issues (aka gastro issues) so my IM experience tells me "If you feel, If you don't...slow down" so I slowed my HR down well into zone 1 (approx 120bpm) for about 3 hours or so and finally realized what was going on, fixed the problem and was able to ramp back up to mid zone 2 (approx 145bpm) for the last 30 miles of the bike...but the gastro issues took their toll and my legs were getting pretty heavy and tired towards the end of the bike. Total bike time 6:11 (18.1mph avg)

RUN: Ah yes, the wonderful marathon. I could NOT stop thinking about IMWI next week the entire race so the first 8 miles of the run I instilled a run/walk effort even though I felt great. From miles 8-18 I just focused on my nutrition plan; which was 1 race cap supreme, 1 mito cap, and 1 endurolyte at the top of the hour, 1 hammer gel at the top of the hour, then whatever I felt like in between; which happened to be pretzels and oranges.

Stopped for about 5-7 min around mile 18 to help a lady that looked pretty bad as she gazed up at me and asked me to help her. So I stopped, assessed her the best I could (she was cold and nauseous but not dizzy yet), sat her down and talked her off the ledge. She kept saying she was on track to break 12 hrs with only 7 miles to go and that she was really pissed off about it. I told her it was ok and only a race and not her life. I pointed to a fellow racer passing by to get the cop at the next intersection and have him come back here with his radio. Waited with her until the cop came and then went on my merry way.

Rest of the marathon was a little strange as my RPE and my mental exertion was not in sync. My mental exertion was about 30%-40% (i.e. I didn't have to dig down deep at all) but my legs/muscles just weren't responding. Usually it's the opposite for me during an IM. Kinda curious.

Well, finished right about where I predicted I would (13ish) with a final time of 13:17. Probably could have gone sub 13 but just couldn't stop thinking about IMWI...that idea just kept freaking me out during this race and really made me take it easy the entire time.

I took my resting HR this morning and it is already back down to normal; which is very strange. I will check it again tomorrow.

Please help make a difference -

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Kevin at was nice enough to interview me and talk about what it is I'm doing, why I'm doing it, and what the disease of Aplastic Anemia is all about.

Take a moment to listen if you haven't already.


Please help make a difference -

Friday, August 22, 2008

Too much it too little

Well, today is 8 days out from Ironman Louisville and 15 days out from Ironman Wisconsin and I can't believe I'm still "burned out" from all the training. I know I'm doing less and less workouts each day and each week until races week, but I still am not feeling the restlessness I typically feel during taper.

Normally I can't wait to get my workout it and the workouts don't seem like they're enough to keep me "happy" because they're too short, but I'm not feeling that this year....strange. Not sure what to make of it, if anything, but I started to notice it a couple days ago. I'm just not into it. Normally at this time I'm all jacked up and cleaning my bike with a toothpick, making lists for transition and packing, thinking about what to bring and what to wear and how to fuel, etc etc.

Not for these Ironman races...I am thinking a little bit about what to wear but don't care about cleaning my bike and haven't even put on my race cassette on my rear wheel yet. I still have my time trial 11-21 cassette on and will race with both Ironman races with a 12-25 but haven't event bothered to put it on the bike yet.

Very strange feeling this time during taper...

Normally too much training is too little for me, but it appears that this time around to little training is too much.

Looking at this as the glass half full, I am ready and trained for these races and so physically I'm ready to rock and roll. Mentally I'm just not on edge or super excited as I was in previous Ironman races; which could very well be a good thing. I'm just viewing these races today as just something I've been doing.

2.4 mile swim? no worries, I've done more than that in the pool...a few times too.

112 mile bike? no problemo. I've done 8 bike rides each weekend of 100 miles or more (give or take 2-3 miles)

26.2 mile run? no problemo. I can walk the whole thing if I need to. :)

But I still find it curious that I'm in the "burned out" stage still this close to races week. Hopefully when I get down to Louisville the excitement of the race venue and all the other athletes will get me back into the "little kid excitement" stage that I've always felt at Ironman.

Please help make a difference -

Monday, August 18, 2008

Taper Time & Michael Phelps

Ok, so taper time is here. Some people asked me what "taper" I guess it makes sense to explain.

When you are training for an Ironman race (or any race for that matter) you build fitness by continually increasing the workload your body can endure. However, contrary to popular/laymen opinion, you actually don't get stronger by working out; you only get stronger by RECOVERING from the workouts you've done. So as you continue to add stress to your body in calculated/healthy increments, your body adapts and increased fitness is had through the recovering of those increasingly difficult workouts over time.

So what does this have to do with "taper"?

Tapering is the act of getting you body FULLY recovered for a race. To accurately effectuate an Ironman taper, an athlete must pust themselves to an extremely stressful place (if you're unsure of where that place is, feel free to read my previous 3 posts and you'll see what I mean) then gradually reduce your workouts so that you don't fully recover BEFORE or AFTER race day.

To correctly taper is really more art than science because people's bodies recovery at different rates and the same person actually recovers at a different rate than they did when they were younger.

Anyway, you get the idea. The reason I'm excited about Taper Time is that I am now finally feeling a bit more rested, my body is feeling more powerful in my workouts, and I feel like everything is coming together.

I did a 30 kilometer individual time trial a couple days ago on Saturday and I felt unbelievable. My legs responded to everything I dished out and I gave it 100% effort...then AFTER the race I rode 1.5 hours at a medium pace (coach's orders) and I continued to feel unbelievable.

This was very mentally good for me because undertaking 2 Ironmans in a week is no task for the faint of heart and definitely some new territory for me. I have no idea if I can accomplish this goal, but the way I felt this Saturday during the time trial...made me begin to believe that I will amaze myself with this accomplishment.

I just hope others take notice and are moved to donate to the charity I'm doing all of this for! :)

Oh, and I'm sure you're reading this entire post to see where Michael Phelps fits into all this...

Well, he doesn't, I just wanted to get more hits on my blog via google searches on "michael phelps"

sorry to disappoint. :)

Please help make a difference -

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Almost Home

Ok, so here we the home stretch for the unbelievably crazy training schedule. I'm sick and tired of having to miss social events, professional after work events, not being with my wife and son on the weekends because I'm gone doing some unbelievable training escapades, and being run down, tired, and on the verge begin sick (coughing and sore throat on and off).

So, what's the glass half full side of the story? It's that I am in the most unbelievable shape of my life and quite frankly, being 38 years old, don't know if I'll ever be in this good of shape again (ha ha ha). Also, next week's training schedule will be almost half of what this week's is and the following week is RACE WEEK!!!

This is the home stretch and I'm so excited that I was able to withstand all this training, a new job, a new son, and my unbelievably incredible wife who puts up with all my time away training...she should be canonized!

Please help make a difference -

Friday, August 1, 2008

I hate this part.

This is the time when I am tired, on edge, and can't wait for the taper and race day. And this is the time when I HATE Ironman training because i'm sick and tired of being tired and not having enough time to "relax" and just vegetate after work. I'm always either working out, getting my crap ready to work out, or trying to rush and get to sleep so I can get up in the morning to work out. Hell, I don't even have time to post on this blog frequently. rush rush rush rush. real crazy.

For example, I need to wake up at 3:30am this Sunday morning to drive up to ride the entire Ironman Wisconsin (112 miles) course this saturday so that i can be back home by 2:00pm to spend time with my family while not acting tired.

But this is what makes the Ironman such a unique experience because I know I will get through this and I'll have a common experience with the other Ironman athletes that during race week when we walk by each other we can just share a silent smile with the look of "YEAH BABY, we made it and we're here, we're going to do an IRONMAN ! "

My training hasn't gone 100% to date, but it's all about progress NOT perfection, right? As you can see from the chart below, I've missed a couple weeks here and there, but for the most part, this graph illustrates to me that I've progressed sufficiently to Ironman fitness...and that's what really counts.

Please help make a difference -

Monday, July 14, 2008

Getting through it

Well, another few weeks closer to the races. I had a great ride yesterday with a fe folks from Team Magellan. We ended up riding in perfect temperature but pretty hefty winds. Good thing was that we had 8 in our group and we all stuck together the entire time so that made the winds a little more manageable.

Even though I have no time to even breathe these next few weeks between work, training, and family, I am going to try to spread the word about Aplastic Anemia by sending out some press releases.

First I have to learn/read up on how to write a press release that will be some attention, then I need to somehow figure out where to get the names/numbers of the media contacts. So if I end up managing to find time to do that, I think it will help raise awareness.

I'm getting beaten up pretty good with all this training and the crazy time management involved in it, but hopefully it'll be worth it and some nice funds will be raised for Aplastic Anemia Foundation.

Oh, here's a family photo...figured it was time to post one. :)

Please help make a difference -

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Rookie Mistake

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After 11 years in this sport of triathlon you'd think I wouldn't be making any rookie mistakes right???

Well, yesterday on my 100 mile bike ride I made a rookie mistake and can't believe I did it.

The workout was to ride the 100 miles but for 4 hours and 15 minutes of the ride, go hard at 150 beats per minute heart rate.

Everything was going perfect but after about 45 miles I ran out of water and was getting hungry and since I couldn't drink my Perpetuem without water since it was in concentrated form...I just stuck it out for another 5 miles until we got to the gas station to refuel...but by that time I was pretty darn hungry.

Do you ever go to the grocery store hungry and buy all this crap that you never end up eating but it looked SSSOOO good and yummy when you were in the store? A similar situation occurred when I walked through the gas station aisle. A payday candy bar caught my eye and for some stupid, stupid, stupid reason I bought it and wolfed it down faster than I have ate anything in my life....YUMMY!!! It really hit the spot! My hunger pangs went away!

So now I'm totally psyched for the ride home and thinking to myself that I'm gonna continue to rock out at my hard pace of 150 beats per minute for the remaining 2 hours I had to do.

Unfortunately, about 30 minutes after leaving the gas station at the hard pace I began to get very nauseous. I tried to ignore it and keep my heart rate up...but to no avail. I felt like getting sick so I immediately knew what I did wrong...eating a damn simple sugar candy bar with stupid chemicals in it then going hard at 150 heart rate thinking my body could use that as fuel. Well my body went on strike big time.

So to make sure I didn't loose my lunch (so to speak...a payday candy bar is NOT a lunch for those kids at home reading this) I backed off to 125 beats per minute heart rate and sat up straight on my triathlon bike and figured I would be ready to rock it out again at top speed in about 10 min or so....

Nope, it took about 1 hour and 40 minutes for the nauseousness to go away, and even when that went away I couldn't get into my aero position for very long because it was too much stress on my abdomen/large intestine...where the dumb payday bar was now sitting and being digested.

So I ended up having only 3 hours 15 min at my 150 heart rate and then just limped home the remaining 2+ hours at a 125 heart rate all in the upright position.

I was so mad at myself because I KNOW better to not deviate from practicing my race-day nutrition plan (Perpetuem and hammer gel ONLY) but NNNOOO I had to listen to my stupid brain that was obviously delirious from hunger and suggested I eat a payday bar.

Please help make a difference -

Friday, June 20, 2008

Now the fun begins

Well, now we're finally getting into the part of Ironman training that is really tough. Anyone whose done Ironman training knows that the final build period before the peak weeks of training all season...just are plain tough.

Your body is tried from the training building up to this point, work stresses, family stresses, and just the idea that you want to have the ability to just hang and not have to work out 6 days a week...really begins to tear most people down mentally.

However, the amazing part about this upcoming arduous portion of the Ironman training season is that once you get through it (even though it seems like it will never end) you are so utterly amazed at yourself for accomplishing the training that when you get to race day, that day means so much more to you because you've really had to work your @ss off to get there...literally. ha ha ha

Just to prepare everyone...these next 6 weeks are going to most likely be posts of me complaining how I hate Ironman training, how I'll never sign up for another Ironman again, how I can't believe I'm putting myself and my family through this, etc, etc, etc. But don't's completely normal and "this too shall pass"

I'm going to begin my fundraising efforts in earnest soon...which, quite frankly, is just another added stress to my 168 hours I have each week to accomplish things.

So, IF YOU'RE READING THIS, and you haven't take time to donate (even if it's only $10), PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE click on the donate button and help raise money for a foundation that so badly needs people like you!

Please help make a difference -

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Training Volume Begins

Well, the training volume is starting to ramp up. In about 2-3 weeks I will write a blog entry that says something like "I hate doing the Ironman, why did I sign up for this crap, the world sucks, training sucks, my coach sucks..."

It's like clock work...every time I train for an Ironman I always get the "everything sucks" attitude about 8 weeks before race day...which will put the "everything sucks" time about mid-late June this season.

Knowing it's coming doesn't stop it for coming, but it does shed a little humor on it when it does get here...even though I'm quite humorless during the 3-4 week "everything sucks" period.

ha ha ha...can't wait for it to get here...NOT!

Here's how my training has been going so far:

Please help make a difference -

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Run workout

10' @ 8:46/mile pace + 10' @ 7:29/mile pace+ 6 X (30'' stride + 1' walk) + 10' @ 8:46/mile pace

this run felt good but my right gastroc and left mid-gastroc were so tight the entire workout they felt like two boulders stuck to the back of my legs. I think it is from the last couple bike workouts and maybe from the TTT over the weekend also because the right one was not tight mid-soleus where it usually is was tight in the upper/mid gastroc.

Please help make a difference -

Saturday, May 10, 2008

40k Time Trial

I did a 40km time trial today so my coach could use the data to hone in on my bike training zones.

I was pretty excited because my time ended up being 1 hour 2 minutes, a 24 mph average.

It hurt but I was surprised at the time because I haven't been training on the bike that long...only since March of this year and all last year (2007) was my year off from no bike training all last year.

Please help make a difference -

Friday, May 2, 2008

What am I doing?

Wow, it's been almost 3 weeks since I've last blogged.

I didn't realize how much time and effort it takes to keep a blog...but I know that I need to because folks email me asking me "if everything's ok" (how thoughtful)

of course the best way to see if I'm "alright" is to click on my training log link on the left side of this page.

So the past 3 weeks have been ok training wise. I got sick for about 1/2 week and cause me to miss some workouts but it was on my drop-back week so it didn't have that much affect.

I got my first 5 hour ride on the bike in, and that's good. It was a TOUGH TOUGH TOUGH day on the bike due to the 25mph sustained winds. when your peddling downhill and only going 7 know it'll be a long day. :)

we'll training isn't putting a stress on my's work. I'm steering my own ship now (no longer an employee) which is liberating but also risky, scary, but exciting all at the same time. when you're the sole provider for the family and take risk like can't do anything but cause stress.

I vowed to myself to only discuss training and charity fundraising on this blog so I'll try not to mention professional life...although right now it's such a huge component of my stress and affects my training and recovery (lack of sleep due to stress).

Irrespective of this, training is going well but can't believe there is only 4 months left until I attempt something I am completely unsure I can complete...but that's why I signed up for it so I better just go Nike (aka Just Do It).

Please help make a difference -

Friday, April 11, 2008

Gearing up for a 4 hour bike ride

This Sunday will be the longest ride of the season so far. 4 hours. I'm excited about the long rides because I really love riding my bike (at least I'm not sick of it yet...that comes later in the season as Ironman gets closer)

I'm again organizing (or attempting to) cyclists together so we all have company on these "longer" rides this training season. Last week for our 3 hr ride we had 7 riders and it was good fun. We ended up doing about 50 miles in about 3:15 or so I think.

CLICK HERE for a map of the route we rode last week.

The last couple days of workouts have been fun. I've not been by the computer much since I'm working pretty long hours (leaving early/coming home late) but got a moment to post tonight.

Please help make a difference -

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Swim workout (2,300 meters):

200 easy free + 50 breaststroke + 100 backstroke + 300 closed fist and pullbuoy + 150 (50 one arm stroke + 50 2 strokes RA/ 2 strokes LA + 50 catchup) + 6 X 100 IM, RI=30'' + 4 X 200 descent within, RI=30'' + 100 backstroke

felt pretty good in the water today. definitely getting stronger.

Please help make a difference -

Saturday, April 5, 2008

3 Hour bike ride

We tried a new route today. The first 5 miles kinda sucked due to traffic so on the way back we took the bike path back for the last 5 miles.

The route we took is here:

Bike workout (56 miles):

15' zone 1 + 2.5 hrs zone 2 (every 3' include a 10'' max effort out of saddle burst) + 15' zone 1

had difficulty sticking to the 10" max effort every 3 min religiously but the hills seemed to get my HR and legs burning pretty regularly anyway. this ride felt good although I did have to back track a few times to make sure we didn't drop anyone. My legs felt good on the hills but obviously still want to work more on leg strength.

Please help make a difference -

Friday, April 4, 2008

Bike Workout (15 miles):

10' zone 1 + 4 X 1' one leg pedal + 30' zone 2 + 10' zone 1

ok. did the one leg pedal drill correctly (1 set for each of 4 sets).


Did 45 min of weights. 2 sets of 10-15 reps. Squats, leg extensions, hamstring curls, seated row, incline press, roman chair, step ups, straight arm lat pull down.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Double Day

Swim workout (2,300 meters):

200 easy free + 100 backstroke + 50 breaststroke + 200 closed fist and pullbuoy + 50 OK + 50 Index + 50 Pinky + 4 X 100 stroke (no free) RI=15'' + 4 X 250 light pace free, RI=10'' + 200 backstroke

focused on form. right shoulder bothering me a little bit.

Run workout (4.22 mi):

10' zone 1 + 10' zone 3 + 6 X (30'' stride + 1' walk) + 10' zone 1

on the treadmill. did 9:30min/mile pace for zone 1, 6:00-6:30min/mile pace for the strides. stupid HRM on the fritz again. 202bpm @ 6mph?? I don't think so. I think it has something to do with the watch because the HR strap works fine with the computrainer.

Please help make a difference -

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Quick Bike Today

Short, easy bike today.

Bike Workout (13.4 mi):

10' zone 1 + 5 X 1' one leg pedal + 20' zone 2 + 10' zone 1

nice easy ride...but I think I screwed up the leg pedal drills as I did a total of 5 and NOT 5 sets (1 for each leg).

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bike ride today.

Bike Workout (44 mi):

15' zone 1 + 125' zone 2 + 15' zone 1

Ended up going a little longer than planned since I rode outside and the course was 44 mi long. Tried to stay around 125bpm-135bpm for zone 2 portion but was a hilly course and proved a bit more difficult to hold constant HRM than expected. Also, I didn't fuel correctly so the last 30min or so of the ride I bonked and had a tough time getting my muscles to turn over.

Please help make a difference -

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Track Workout

My coach had me do a track workout today to better hone in on my current running heart rate zones. This workout HURT! Also, my left ankle I twisted about 4 weeks ago still hurts after I do hard runs like this.

Here is the workout and the mile splits.

Run Workout (total 5.5 miles):

10' zone 1 + 10' drills + 4 strides with full recovery + 3 X (1600 for time + rest 35'') + 400 for time + 10' zone 1. Rest interval is 35'' between the 1600s and between the last 1600 and 400.

I've done this test 3 times in the past year and it appears that I've gotten a little stronger since before the Chicago Marathon 2007.

Please help make a difference -

Friday, March 28, 2008


Swim workout (2,100 meters):

200 easy free + 100 breaststroke + 4 X 100 free with ankle bands, RI=15'' + 4 X 300 light pace free, RI=10'' + 200 backstroke

shoulders are starting to bother me again. time to ramp up on my shoulder stabilizer exercises.

Please help make a difference -

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A short bike

Bike Workout:

10' zone 1 + 4' gradually bring intensity up to top of zone 4 intensity + 25' zone 2 (every 3' include a 10'' max effort burst) + 10' zone 1

my left spin scan was pretty low today...not sure why. maybe I need to start using my powercranks again a couple times a week.

CLICK HERE for computrainer data.

Please help make a difference -

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Training Week #2

I've realized that keeping a blog is VERY time consuming. Wow. I didn't realize that.

I've been hounded by my friends to post more regularly so I'll try to do that even if it's just what my workout was for the day and how I felt.

Today I had a swim and a run.

Swim workout (1,900 meters): 200 easy free + 100 breaststroke + 200 closed fist and pullbuoy + 50 OK + 50 Index + 50 Pinky + 4 X 100 IM, RI=30'' + 4 X 200 easy free, RI=10'' + 150 backstroke

felt pretty good today in the water. definitely getting back in swim shape pretty quickly. neck was a little sore since i'm not used to using it so much (i.e. breathing in the water)

Run workout: 10' zone 1 + 10' zone 3 + 4 X (30'' stride + 1' walk) + 10' zone 1

stupid HRM wasn't working again. I need to send it to Polar to get the battery in the watch changed. had to run by RPE. figured zone 3 was my 8:00min/mile pace at the half marathon so did that and it felt about right. did 10:00min/miles for the zone 1 times.

Please help make a difference -

Sunday, March 16, 2008

March Madness Half Marathon 2008

Today was the March Madness Half Marathon in Cary, Illinois. It was fun to get out there in the early season and run this long of a race. I had been training for it a little bit over the past couple months and felt pretty good. Some of my friends from the Lifetime Fitness Run Club out of Algonquin were there and it was great to see them. We tend to not get out and run together very much during the winter (too cold).

CLICK HERE for my race day data.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Great Run

Yesterday was one of the best runs I had in several months. I wanted to do 2 hours at 9:30-10:00min/mile pace but found a group that was going to run the March Madness half marathon course in Cary, IL. We got just slightly lost and ended up running 14.0 miles instead of 13.1 miles.

Since I didn't know the course I kept pace with a couple guys that wanted to do 8:15-8:30min/miles and figured I just hang with them until I got tired...well that never happened and I felt unbelievable during the run.

I ran in my new Nike Free shoes, which were awesome (except on ice...I almost broke my neck). Even though the weather started at 25 degrees, it was sunny and hardy any wind and I guess my clothing perfectly.

Due to the very hilly course we ended up averaging just under 9:00 min/miles and my avg heart rate was only 149 beats per minute! Very good for me this early in the season.

CLICK HERE for garmin data and CLICK HERE for HRM data.

Please help make a difference -

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mid February??

Holy crap. I can't believe that it's already mid February! I'm glad I signed up for a half marathon in mid March so I keep some semblance of physical fitness. :)

Last week sucked big time for workouts. I need to stop planning ahead so much and just focus on today...what workouts do I need to complete today and the weeks will take care of themselves.

Please help make a difference -

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Aimless Training

Well, January is always the month of "Limbo" training for me. I don't want to start training in earnest for a late season triathlon (IMKY and IMWI) because I always get burned out by July...right when my peak hours come but I don't want to be doing nothing as I do for most of Oct/Nov/and Dec each year.

So this past month has been my meager attempt to but together some semblance of consistency but no real purpose other than to get my body back in gear for the onslaught of training soon to come.

The fact that I signed up for the Cary March Madness 1/2 marathon helps from a running standpoint as it's a goal that serves my training well at this time, and my new computrainer helps too since it's a new toy I like to use. However, I don't want to get in the pool for another couple months at least...but we'll have to see what my coach says about that. ha ha ha.

Please help make a difference -

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Travel and Training

This past week I went to NYC on business traveling from 3:00am on Tuesday to 1:00am Friday. I forgot how tough it was to keep the workout schedule while being in a hotel and having breakfast meetings, dinner meetings, and flights. I don't envy those who have to travel a lot for work and train at the same time.

But, looking at the glass half full...I was able to get a run in through Central Park. It was so beautiful/peaceful to run through the park in the middle of the hustle and bustle of NYC. They really have a terrific asset with that Park.

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Sunday, January 6, 2008

Chicago is 56 degrees in January !

I'm not sure, but I think it might very well be a Mortal Sin (if not, at least a Venial Sin) to not do something outdoors today.

Mid 50's in January in Chicago is, well, not normal. If this is the product of Global Warming then I don't want to recycle anymore (just joking).

I went out with the Elmhurst Bicycle Club today and rode about 1.5 hours. It was truly a pleasure to be outside riding with no snow on the ground, no risk of ice/falling, and no balaclava. Being with friends and enjoying our fitness is really what loving life is about in my world. These days usually are in the Spring and Summer and so I was glad to have enjoyed such a day in the dead of a Chicago winter.

Please help make a difference -

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy 2008

Happy New Year!

Joanna and I are both sick today. We try not to get Nathan sick whenever we are far it's worked.

The little prince was crawling around like crazy today.

Please help make a difference -