Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Let me be one of the first to wish you HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The coolest thing about New Year's is that it's the one time we feel like we get a fresh, new start. We feel like we've put things behind us that were negative, and focus on the positive possibilities of the new year. It's amazing how the calendar can affect us in this way, since any other time of the year we seem to have so much trouble with it. Come midnight, amongst all the cheering, you can almost hear a collective sigh of relief. People are so happy to get thru whatever it was holding them back in that year.

This year, I hope to keep focused on the positives, limiting my negative thoughts and stress. Kind of like New Year's everyday!

In a new twist, I did something I normally can't stand, but thought it was pretty cool. I did a 4 hour trainer ride! It was the longest trainer ride of my life!

The set-up for the 4 hour ride, with nice TV view!

I'm sure you asking why a guy who lives in San Diego would spend 4 hours on the trainer. Well, that's a good question. There were a lot of reasons, but the main one was the quality of the workout I wanted to do. The workout called for a flat course, and 50% of ride time in zone 2, which meant I would need to probably ride at Fiesta Island, which is just about as boring as a trainer can be. I also just had one of those gut feelings when I was putting on my clothes, that something bad was going to happen on my ride. I've never had that before, and was a little spooked by it.

Then I saw there was some cool football on TV, (Orlanda is a big 49ers fan), with the 49ers and Browns. I got a 42 inch HDTV from my wife for X-mas/Anniversary, so I decided to enjoy the game in HD, while riding the trainer.

It actually was quite fun! Utilizing a power meter, made it so easy to keep the quality right where I wanted, it was great! Plus I used a Gordo tip on the ride of every 15 mins and 45 mins past the hour, you do 6x1 min single leg drill, and every 30 mins of the hour, and on the hour, 1 min of VO2 max watts for 1 min. It helped the time go by well, and broke it up nicely.

So 11 water bottles later, and NO CALORIES, I was beat. But I had fun! Might have to do it again next weekend, if the weather is as bad as it looks like it might be here. (Yes, San Diego has some bad days!)

Happy New Year!


Friday, December 28, 2007


It's been a rough day, a lot of family stress. I struggle with it, because it makes for a tough situation for me. As a whole, my sport requires me to think and act selfishly, many times. Its demands require that of me, and honestly, my family struggles with it. Luckily my wife is wonderfully supportive, but not everyone else is.

It seems to become this battle between feeling like you're alienating everyone in your family, (even your friends to a degree), and following your goals, dreams and aspirations within this sport.

It's hard to expect them to understand, and it's even harder for them to accept situations where it seems my triathlon career takes precedence. I come across as selfish, and that only leads to other conflicts, which may not seem related, but clearly are.

It's not easy, and at the end of day I have to look in the mirror and be satisfied with the choices I've made, and who I am.

I recall when I first got into teaching, and was really down about some things which happened at school one day. One of my mentors, Coach Holman, who was my high school track and cross country coach, told me, "Sometimes, you get in your car at the end of the day and say to yourself, 'The kids won today.' It's going to happen."

Now it feels like one of those days. My training felt crappy today, (test-sets to boot), and even if they had gone well, my attitude was so poor, it didn't matter.

I am certainly faced with some challenges ahead, and realize I need to make the sacrifices necessary to accomplish what I've devoted most of my life to. We shall see how that goes.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Rest week

With it being Christmas time and all, I am in a recovery week. It's been busy the past few weeks, which is why I haven't posted much. I was especially slammed with getting my USAT Level 2 Certification test completed and turned in last week. Plus, training was getting busy, and I am still trying to find that groove of time management again.

So in the meantime, here are some things to catch-up on:

1. My new bike position. Here are two photos, one of my old position on the bike, one of the new. I don't really have any good photos of the full old position, only what we took when I did the metabolic test.
The old position:

In this position, I noticed I carried too much tension in my arms and shoulders, trying to get lower than I was capable.

The new position:

With the help of Chris Pulleyn, (in photo with me), from Bicycle Ranch in Phoenix, we made some big changes, and brought me up quite a bit more. It's not more aerodynamic, in a traditional sense, but I would have to test that to make sure. I can certainly tell though, I am MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE. I am not fighting with myself and the crouching, when going on the bike. I really think this will make a big difference in the later stages of a race, keeping me fresher for the run.

We also had to move me forward, to get me more over the pedals. (See #2).

2. If you look at my new position on the bike, you'll notice some other interesting tweaks for this year. The first change is the use of Q-Rings, which I'll be writing more about on my TriTechReview blog soon. The other change is the cleat position. Joe has switched me to a mid-sole cleat position, dead in the middle of my foot. More on that as well in the TriTech blog. Check out the photo for more.

This is the old position, with the new mid-sole cleat position. Now you understand why I needed a change!

So for now, that's all I have, I will be updating the power files on here soon. Remember, you can follow my online training log anytime with the link on the right.

Hope every had a great holiday, and I wish you all a Happy New Year!


Friday, December 21, 2007

The cruel, cruel water

Agua, H20, water, whatever it is you want to call yourself, you are a cruel, cruel beast!

I know I left you for a little while, and you were probably a little bitter, but you knew I would be back. (Didn't you?) It was only 6 weeks or so, can't you show a little patience? After all, how many relationships came back anew and stronger after a brief reprise?

Now, I'm not blaming you entirely. After all, I know I need to get back to my committed ways, but even when I try to do the right thing, you send me different signals! How many times have I come to you, fresh, excited, and feeling ready for a breakthrough, only to have you hold me down, making me feel sluggish and terrible. Back when I would show up hungover, ready to apologize to you, you show pity, and clear the water ahead of me, as those I've been given a motor to do my intervals with.

I show up skinny and fit, and I'm slower. I sit around, get a little fat, and you make me faster. What's up with that?

Certainly, you have noticed me stand before you, reluctant to take the plunge, and I apologize for that. Certainly, I have made the plunge every time, but have some patience and let me jump in on my own terms. Sometimes it's a bit intimidating to do it. There is a bit of a shock to the system when you do that.

Still, you are cruel. When I try to accelerate our relationship, and go faster, you slow me down. When I try to take things slow, you make me fast. I wish you would just MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!

Look, I'm sorry. And to show you how sorry I am, and how committed I will be to you, I'd like to ask you on a date. How does your schedule look for April 13th? There's this event in Phoenix that'd I'd like you to accompany me to. It won't be too much of your time, hopefully around 50 mins. It's a big party, a few thousand people. I think you'll enjoy it, and you'll meet a lot of people who will want to spend some time with you as well.

Please, let's get our relationship back on track. What do you say? Can you help me out here? I promise to see you more regularly, and pay more attention to the little things in our relationship. I think we can make this work.

See you soon.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Training Update and LT test power file

Sorry I haven't been able to update the blog much this week, but it's been very busy around my house. I've created an office out of one of the bedrooms, in order to keep more organized and get my coaching work done, as well as analyze my training, all without the distractions of the rest of the house.

So here is the power file from the LT test on Tuesday in Phoenix, with Joe...


(Also, I have figured out why the last file probably did not work! You can go back and download that one).

I plan to post some more info from the testing session, and the bike fit, along with pics. There are a lot of cool changes happening with my biking and training, and you'll be intrigued if you check back in soon! For now though, my LT was measured at 168 bpm, and 270 watts. Not too far off the test the Friday before. (If you're doing a WKO file for me to follow along, I'll have more files on here soon. Also, my max HR you can enter as 186), and you saw my weight this week!

As you can see in the online training log, I've been busy and back at training as well. I've been entering times and paces, so you can get a sense of where I'm at, etc.

Things seem to be going well. Most importantly, the trip to Phoenix did wonders for my motivation! Working with Joe has me so excited, and I am anxious to get fit again! Honestly, I was seriously contemplating retiring over the course of the downtime. I wondered if I still had it, and if I was ready to mentally make the commitment. Those few days with Joe in Phoenix made a big difference! But I guess it's early, so we'll truly see if it made a difference in the coming months.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Phoenix update..

Things are going well here in Phoenix with Joe, but they have been very busy! Today was a crazy day of the following:

6:30 AM - Up and coffee, pack for the day.
7:30 AM - Off to the pool, Joe checks out my stroke.
8 AM - Joe films me running some.
8:30 AM - Breakfast, and discussion of this season, plans, etc.
10 AM - Lactate and FTP test on the bike, with metabolic cart.
11 AM - Assessment from physical therapist at Endurance Rehab.
12 PM - Lunch, discussion of results from test.
1 PM - Bike fit until 4 PM.
4 PM - Back to Endurance Rehab for exercises and follow-up.
5 PM - Back to Joe's house.
6 PM - Dinner.

It's been a long and a very useful day. Joe says 80% of the preparation is now complete! Hahaha, I wish that were entirely true!

Details from the trip are coming in a blog post soon, maybe tomorrow night. I have plenty to share, including photos and video of the process, and cool software stuff. My apologies if the public view link of my training log didn't work, I have fixed it.

The pic above is from today's metabolic test, and I will have more coming soon. Tomorrow morning I am up for a run, then a ride with Joe before I head back to San Diego.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Good weekend, now in Arizona

I am writing this blog post from Joe Friel's house. Made the 6 hour trek to Phoenix today, to do some testing tomorrow with Joe, and his local resources, as well as a bike fit by his guy here. We'll also do some video analysis of my run and swim. Should be good.

The day started off with good news, a lower RHR of 50, down 2 beats from last Monday, and 181.0 lbs, down over 2 lbs! Probably could have been better had I not drank so much beer and ate as much junk food on Friday night. Believe it or not, I didn't even do the ride on Saturday. Too much going on, weather sucked for riding, and I spent the good part of the day watching the Footlocker Cross Country Championships out at Balboa Park. It was great to see a kid from Indiana win it! I myself am a Hoosier, Lawrence Central High School, c/o 1994! Hard to believe the kid who won wasn't even in kindergarten then. Ouch! I am getting old!

Had a great run on Sunday afternoon though, and can see my body is starting to get back into the training mode. Good thing too!

This morning was a weights session at UCSD before heading out.

I will try to post some pictures tomorrow, and maybe even share some of my video footage, and other info we gather. Stay tuned!


Friday, December 7, 2007

Starting with Joe Friel, and wow my FTP sucks!

My apologies who think the following FTP is good, but believe me when I tell you this will get me annihilated in a pro men's race. Tested my FTP today with Allen and Coggan's method, and it was 253 watts. OUCH!

In other news, I promised to share all my training, and power files, etc. Well, here is my first step in doing that. Here is my public profile and viewing of all my workouts, for those who want to follow.

Bookmark it, so you can refer back easier. Or you can click it on the link to the right when you come back to the blog.

It seems easiest to do this, than put down every workout here. I will share the big power files here for people on occasion, as well, starting with today's test set. Wow, this is embarrassing though, and I honestly wanted to quit when it was starting to not go well. Glad I didn't, but I nearly vomited when I stopped. Ouch!

So here is the power file.

The workout is saved as a WKO+ file, (CyclingPeaks, so you will need to have that software to follow along.)

So Joe posted the first workouts for my training plan for Ironman Arizona, and you can see it in the TrainingPeaks profile. Here is what he wrote me in an email this morning, describing the general plan...

Here is the general, overall plan going forward. It may well change. I’ll need to set up your ATP to reflect this once I get things nailed down a little tighter…

Dec 10-23 Getting back into training again. Building endurance. Bumping up volume.
Dec 24-27 Back off to make sure we haven’t overextended.
Dec 28-Jan 20 Base 3 training. We’ll “front end load” the week of Dec 31-Jan 6 (don’t plan on too much NY Eve partying!). By this I mean the volume will be quite high. On the order of 5 hours per day. We may or may not do that for the entire week. We’ll see. The next 3-4 days following this high volume we’ll back way off and work on skills. Then the remainder of this period will be devoted to race-specific intensity.
Jan 21-25 Rest, active recovery.
Jan 26-Feb 17 Same as previous block only workouts will be a bit longer and the intensity portion will be more challenging.
Feb 18-22 Rest and recovery.
Feb 23-Mar 16 Front end loaded again. BIG DAY on March 16. This means we’ll do a mini-IM simulation (bfast, durations, intensity, equipment, nutrition) with 90 minute breaks between sessions.
Mar 17-21 R&R
Mar 22-Apr 6 Peaking/tapering
Apr 7-13 Race week.

So that's the plan. We shall see how it goes. I am already more excited than I started the week, and that is the best news of all. You definitely don't want to be struggling through all this without feeling


PS - Did anyone see Ironman Wisconsin on the Versus channel last weekend? Yeah, I looked like an overconfident ass. If ever I needed something to motivate me, there it was.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Week #1, day 1 & new steed!

Monday, so that means weight and RHR check:

RHR - 52 this morning, unchanged from last week.

Weight - 183.2 lbs, (-4.4 lbs from last week! 187.6) That's a biggest loser number!

Ok, before I go on, check out my new steed for road riding!

Look 555, with the new Ultegra SL

This past week was the first run with the new Garmin Forerunner 305, and able to start tracking my fitness gains, (or losses).

Saturday - My 10K bay loop, in 46:03, Avg HR 157, Max 176, Avg Pace 7:30
Sunday - easy bike ride, with Orlanda, working with some clients on bike skills
Monday - Back at it with the 10K bay loop, (truck issues kept me out of the masters session) 45:13, Avg HR 158, Max 170, Avg Pace 7:20 (nice improvement, at only 1 bpm more!)

That's all for now, very busy. Will keep you informed of more. Trying to figure out how to upload Garmin files on here for people to see how my training went. But trust me, so far I am FAR, FAR away from looking like an elite level athlete! Hahaha!