Monday, January 28, 2008

What a week...The good with the bad...And not a bad start for this week!

Well, it was quite a week. It was filled with great, good and bad things. Bad being relative, it really wasn't that bad.

Last week was a recovery focused period, which we followed with tests to see where I'm at. The test results were pretty good, as you read in my last post for the swim and run. On Friday, I went over to Fiesta Island and did a 30 min test, trying to hold 300-310 watts. It was super windy, which made the test both fun and challenging. Fun, because it was high speeds at times, which always make you think you're rocking it, then the other is when you go into the wind, you're pushing it hard, and the speeds are slow, but the wattage meter is telling you that you CRANKING IT!

I started the test off strong, and thought I maybe was going too hard at the start, but I underestimated myself, and ended up with a consistent rise in power throughout the whole test. Check out the picture of the file below, with Joe's comments. I had a normalized power of 317 watts, and it appears my FTP may be higher than that.

After that on Friday, I had a late night, which was not exactly great for training, or the Paleo diet. I went with Orlanda and some friends to see Ozomatli, at the Belly Up Tavern. Before that, it was pizza and beers at Pizza Port in Solana Beach. I ended up drinking plenty, eating plenty, and then a late bedtime. Got to answer the bell though, so I got up early the next morning to hit my masters session at UCSD on Saturday, 7:30 AM. Actually didn't swim bad for being hungover!

So with the good, is the bad, and even the bad is relative. The bad was how I was feeling, but I was swimming pretty well, and my swimming continues to get better. I actually am much more in touch with the water, and noticing I'm getting lazy with my right arm, especially after breathing on my left.

On the next workout though, came the real bad! 90 min run, struggling from the get go. Definitely affected by the late night. Got in 12 miles, but it was slow and felt terrible.

Saturday afternoon and evening were spent preparing for what some were predicting would be the "Storm of the Century" for San Diego. I went to the store, bought a bunch of food, so I would have everything I needed, and even went to Blockbuster and rented 5 movies, because I realized a 5-hour ride with intervals and a "Storm of the Century" don't go well together, meaning I was probably going to be on the trainer.

So yes, I did it...5 hours on the trainer! New record. Luckily, I also had a friend Jay come over and join me for about 2 hours of it, watching one of the 2.5 movies I watched. The movies were "The Kingdom", "Die Hard 3: Live Free or Die Hard", and "Deja Vu". Yes, all action movies, because when you're doing a trainer ride, you can't do too much plot following, especially when trying to bang out some 20 min intervals. I luckily had Orlanda feeding me and refilling our bottles too.

So the most annoying part of it all is, "Storm of the Century" MY ASS! I woke up in the morning and it was a little wet, but hardly raining. Then it cleared up, sun was out, pavement drying. About 90 mins into my ride, I realized, "Dang, I should be riding outside!" Then I figured it will probably start to get bad out any minute, so I waited. It didn't take long and it became clear the day was not going to be bad at all. I didn't know whether to be happy or pissed off!

I started to make plans to go outside, then realized I rented all these damn movies, and that my clothes and shoes were soaked from my sweat! Not exactly comfortable for heading outside to ride. I decided just to stick with the plan, and kept on the trainer, while I watched movies and looked at how nice of a day it was out the window.

As much as it sucked, it wasn't that bad. I definitely got a lot of work in, and could tell as I was battling some serious cramps in my right leg about 3-3.5 hours into the ride. They went away, and my hydration seemed to help, but it's something I will have to look out for.

So like I said, the good with the bad. I actually got a lot of good work done with it, and this morning was a new season-best weight at my Monday morning weigh-in! 167.4 lbs! I definitely rehydrated after the ride, so I am pretty sure not too much of it is water loss, at least not anymore than usual. It's exciting, because I haven't been this light since my Ironman Florida days. Funny how I was around 185 lbs only a little more than 6 weeks ago.

11 weeks to Arizona, and things are going well. Joe says I'm progressing along much quicker and better than he expected, and I agree. He says I won't be "great shape" for Arizona, but should be pretty good. He thinks I'll be much more prepared for Kona. Of course, I need to qualify at Arizona.

The training really ramps up here in the next 4 weeks, which you can see in the training log. Should be fun to see what happens, as so far I am more excited about training and racing than I have been in a long time.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Tests, weight, and ramping up

Well, I guess Carlsbad went about as well as it could have. I was impressed with my ability to call my time. I seem to be maturing in my age, as I really am in touch with my fitness and where my body is at. At the tests in Phoenix with Joe, I pretty much called my FTP, LT HR, and max HR. Sunday, I called my time.

Actually, the race went well, but it was clear I am strong but slow. Anytime I tried to push the pace, I really began to fall apart. This was not a surprise, but I thought I might be able to go a tad faster, since the pace I ran felt pretty easy thru about 10 miles.

Here is the actual file from the race, for people to enjoy reviewing:

Carlsbad Half Marathon - 1:18:00

The big thing to look at, which really pleased Joe and I, was the pace to HR decoupling, of only 3+%, and if you take out the first four minutes where the HR was still rising after standing at the start line, the last 1:14 of the race is at 2.74%, which is an excellent number! It shows some great aerobic fitness. This test also gave me a functional threshold pace of 5:52/mi.

The next 3 days were pretty light, and Thursday was back to our test sets. Yesterday's tests and the results were:

Swim - On December 28th was 1:13 average for 15x100 on 10 secs rest. This time I averaged 1:10! Not bad to be 45 secs faster over the course of only 1500 yards! This time was much more consistent as well, since last time had a range of times from 1:09 to 1:16, where as this time had a range of 1:09-1:11.

Run - On December 28th, I ran 19:39 for 5K on the track, at 165 bpm avg. This time, 19:00 at 165 bpm avg, on a WINDY day. Another solid improvement. The best part is, 165 feels easy, right at or even a tad below my aerobic threshold. I thought I would go a bit faster, since my Carlsbad performance was a 164 avg, at under 6 min pace, but I hadn't just done a swim test before it.

Today will be a 30 min bike test, so we will see how it goes. Expecting to hold around 300-310 watts avg for the 30 mins. Was wanting to get up to Palomar mountain, but the recent rains here in San Diego have put a lot of SNOW on Palomar. Not something I'm interested in riding in.

My weight has continued to drop as well, as yesterday and today, 170lbs. I can look in the mirror and see the difference, which is always nice!

Lastly, things are about to get APE-SH*T with my training. Check out the next few weeks on my online training log, and you can see, it's a good amount of stimuli! Joe has me doing Conjugate Sequence Periodization, and it's interesting stuff. It seems to be working well so far though!

Hope all is well in the training world for each of you.


Saturday, January 19, 2008


Tomorrow morning, 7:30 AM...Carlsbad half-marathon. Not really ready to race, as pretty tired from the week, but doing it as a workout. I know I can run 1:20, and think I'll run around 1:18 probably. If I run faster than that, I'll be pretty happy.

How tired am I? Well, on WKO my TSB is -55.9 today, -57.4 yesterday, so not exactly ramping up for a big performance.

Maybe I'll see many of you out there. If so, say hello!


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Big Wednesday

Wednesday was a big day, and I was pretty happy with the results!

2 hour run in the AM, here's part of my training log notes:

Garmin Forerunner 205/305 - Very good run. Faded a little on the return trip, not making it quite back to the house, but still very solid. I think I just lost my focus at times, especially on the uphill portions, as the course is tough. Last Wednesday's run was 7:03 pace at 152 bpm, on the same route, for 1:45, not including the big hill I did today. Today was 6:50 pace at 145 bpm, for 2 hours. That's a really solid improvement. Surprisingly, I never got out of zone 2 on the entire run.

90 min ride, about 1:15 after the run with hill repeats on Mt. Soledad, here's part of my training log notes:

Power-Tap After the run, this was a tough one to get on the bike and do. I did 4 climbs, on a road I will not choose next time, as it had some stoplights which interfered, and wasn't a consistent grade. I am sure the numbers would have been even better. However, reviewing the hill repeats last Friday, the numbers were all better, except 5 sec power. I saw good improvements in CP6 and CP 30, compared with last time, and last time I was fresh, no 2 hour run before hand!

It's amazing how much my fitness continues to improve now, I feel like a giddy child again. I read there was a thread topic on Slowtwitch that said "90 days to Ironman Arizona!" I chuckled when I read that. That's a good amount of time to continue to improve, but it will go fast!


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Weigh-in again, new face in town

Monday morning weight - 173.0

Not a bad start to the week, as the goal of the week was a reduction in volume and bit more focus on race intensity. This week I have the Carlsbad half-marathon on Sunday as a training run, and certainly am not resting for it! If you check out the week schedule on my online training log, you'll see what I mean!

If you've been following my online training log, you'll notice I've really seen some big fitness jumps in the last week. My run last Wednesday was 1:45, the longest of the year, and somehow the fastest as well! My swimming went from struggling to break 1:20 for short course yards, to comfortably swimming 1:10-1:12's, and my wattage numbers were so big on the Torrey Pines repeats with Mac, that we had to change my FTP to 300 watts, up from 270 a month ago at Joe's in Phoenix. Things are heading down the right path.

I apologize for not putting up the power files, but I'm trying to figure out a way to put a compressed zip file of all my workouts, for people to feel free to check out. This way I can do it every few weeks, instead of trying to do it file by file. If someone has a place I can host this at, and help me do it, I would be much appreciated. Just leave a comment letting me know.

Some of you have left comments on here with questions, and I apologize for not getting back to them sooner. Manny left one asking about how much different it feels to do 200 watts on a trainer vs the road, and I want to answer that one thoroughly, so I will soon answer that on my coaching blog. Stay tuned Manny!

Today I have a 2 hour run, and 5 x up Mt. Soledad at high wattage, seated. (Told you I wasn't resting up for C-bad!) I had a little issue with my right quad, and have been nursing it on the TP Massage Quadballer, and hope to get thru today's training without issue. Otherwise training later in the week could be jeopardized. How did this happen? I think I gave too much effort in the kick sets at the end of the workout yesterday in the pool. Wish me luck to keep it healthy!

In other news, a great new face has come to town, which I am excited about. On December 10th, I got an email from Tyler Johnson, a big XTERRA pro guy, who when fit and healthy, is one of the scariest athletes to look over and see on the start line. He's battled some motivational issues, and was tired of the Boulder scene. He wanted a fresh start, and to get out here to the sun and get serious again. This is a guy who has been overweight for a few seasons, yet still has had some impressive performances. He's run 30:09 for 10K on the track, been on the US Cyclo-cross Team for the World Championships, and been on the podium at XTERRA National stops. Last year he was second off the bike at Richmond, WHILE STILL BEING FAT! I even had to run his fat ass down at Temecula last year, noticing I was chasing a guy with a spare tire on his waist, and who I beat out of the water by almost 5 mins!

Tyler is here now in San Diego, and I am coaching him. I am excited about this, because I see him excited to train again, and think we could see some great performances this year. I'll be writing more about his trials and tribulations on my coaching blog, as well as those of another XTERRA pro I am coaching, Craig Evans from Nashville, TN. Craig has always been known as an amazing swimmer in the sport, but last year really made a big jump in his riding. This year, we hope to complete his transformation and get him running with the big boys too. Stay tuned.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Joe Friel is coming to San Diego!

Taken from my coaching blog, to inform those who read this blog too...

If you've wanted to hear Joe Friel speak, here's your chance! Joe will be speaking at B+L Bike & Sports in Solana Beach, on Saturday, January 19th, at 2 PM.

To find out more about Joe Friel, visit:

Joe will be speaking on "Preparing for the Upcoming Season".

The event is FREE of charge, and open to everyone. Joe is focusing his talk for those who will be participating in the upcoming San Diego Century, in May. The event will last about 90 mins, depending on questions and responses.

Hope to see you there!


Monday, January 7, 2008

Weighing 175.4

So this morning began with the regular Monday morning weigh-ins. I realized I forgot to post last week that I had a big breakthrough, with a weight drop from 180 to 173! This AM though, saw it back up to 175.4.

This wasn't too surprising though, as I had a lighter weekend of training, after Joe had packed the front half of the week with 4 days of 4 hours of training each. He was trying to simulate some harder weeks coming up, as that would be about 28 hours of training. My body's response was surprisingly strong, and I've actually been getting pretty excited about training, especially the bike!

This past weekend was also my 1 year wedding anniversary to Orlanda. We celebrated with an evening out, at a local Tapas Bar and restaurant here in Pacific Beach called "Costa Brava"
I must say, I WAS IMPRESSED! The food was magnificent! I made a junior-high move when I asked for a Corona, not realizing it was a Spanish restaurant, NOT MEXICAN! Our waitress asked me, "Wouldn't you like to try a Spanish beer?" I was like, "Uhhh, yeah...I'm an idiot. Sorry!" I also had a nice Mojito with it. Ok, I actually had 3 Mojitos, 4 beers, and 1 Mai Tai! Not exactly Paleo Diet specific, but I must say I was a smart man to get married in the off-season!

If you get the chance, hit that place up, you'll like it! Even if you just have appetizers and drinks, it's great!

So that's really the only updates to give. Life is good right now, as I see improvement and enjoy my training again. I also have a lot of great things going on in the coaching front, including coaching 2 professional triathletes this coming season. Stay tuned to my coaching blog for more info on that.

Hope your training is going well too!