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Posts from the ‘Triathlon’ Category

January 2016 Training Summary

In the spirit of accountability, here are my training numbers from January.  It was a bit disappointing overall given the strong start I had to the year. The pie chart shows a significant run focus in my workouts this month, with ~ 75% more of my time being spent running than cycling.  I did manage to make it to the pool a couple of times, but I kept my sessions short – focusing on the feel of my stroke in the water and trying to not overwork my shoulders.

The performance management chart clearly shows the delineation of school starting back (yes, I’m a 2nd year graduate student at Georgia Tech while still working full time– Insane!!). I had just one good run after that on the 17th, and NADA-ZILCH-NOTHING through 1/31.  The weather didn’t help as we had a couple of days with icy roads. Still – that is no excuse to not get on the trainer.

 

Totals

Swim: 1050 yards. 24 minutes

Bike: 70.6 miles. 3 hours, 48 minutes

Run: 37.0 miles.  6 hours, 56 minutes

Other (Tennis / etc.): 0 hours

Total training time: 11 hours, 8 minutes.

A December to Forget

This month hasn’t been the worst ever, but it has been trying. I came down with the flu-like-crud on December 1st. This rendered my attempts to train futile. I think I’ve logged a single, solitary run this month. It took 3 weeks to recover. I had hoped that during this time my shoulder would recover. I injured it back at the end of October, and I’m not really sure HOW. Sadly it did not improve.

I went to the doctor today and the good news is that the x-rays and examination did not prove to be remarkable. The bad news is that it still hurts!  The doc gave me a cortisone shot along with prescriptions for an anti-inflammatory and physical therapy. I start the medication today and will go to PT on Monday. Hopefully this course of action will yield results where my previous plan of limiting use did not.  My next IM is not that far out in the future!

Lake Lanier Islands Triathlon 2014

Sunday, September 28th was the 10th annual Lake Lanier Islands Triathlon. It’s been eight years since I last ran this race. I dug out my Emerald Point Triathlon Race Recap after the fact to see how I did and how much I have evolved (or devolved!). In short, I’m eight years older and roughly 10 minutes faster.

Not much has changed at this venue since my last visit:

  1. Participants are now required to check their bike in the day before. Kind of a pain, but with 1000 folks at a small venue, it’s really a necessity.
  2. Body marking is gone. I guess this has been phased out over the past couple of years, but this was my first in a couple of years, so I was a bit surprised to see those temporary tattoos.  They are a real pain to remove too – baby oil is definitely required.
  3. The resort has created a marina in the area that was once the swim exit.  The huge climb up to transition is still there, but now you have to run across a long pier begin that climb.

Swim

I felt really good on the swim. It’s been awhile since I raced in open water. I felt like I sighted really well the whole way and kept an even stroke. Once I turned right at the first buoy, the field opened up a bit and I was able to swim my swim. My split was a bit disappointing because the chip time stopped at the mat in the transition area. It included the run across the pier and up the hill. Of course I took it easy here to avoid getting my heart rate up. I would’ve gone harder had I realized that was still part of my swim time. There was a mat at the swim exit, but I think that was just checking us in to the race.

Course and elevation profile of the Lake Lanier Islands triathlon.

Lake Lanier Islands Triathlon bike course

Bike

Regardless of what the literature says about flatness with only 1 real climb, the course is hilly.  You’re in North Georgia. It’s going to be hilly.  I executed the bike course really well, with an IF of 1.05.  Any more than that would’ve screwed my run, and even that may have negatively impacted my run a tiny bit.  My Garmin 705 had issues with the distance, registering a total of only 9.6 miles instead of the 12.5 – 13 that the course really is. Not sure what went wrong there. At least I have my power numbers – that is the most important part.

 

Lake Lanier Islands run course

Lake Lanier Islands run course

Run

I had a pretty easy time finding my pace and getting out on the run course. Like the bike, there were a bunch of hills to deal with on this course, but only 1 of them was really of any significance that began in the second mile and was about 1/2 mile long.  I walked the hills which I think may be a result of cooking the legs a little too much on the bike. Or may just have been mental. Who really knows?  Once I hit mile 2 I was moving the whole way and passed a couple of folks in my a/g.  The finisher chute had started to deflate, but some kind folks were holding it up as I crossed the mat.  1 hour, 27 minutes.  Not too shabby for being older and not training nearly as much as I used to!

Transitions

My transitions went really well. I had staged things well, and have Yankz on my running shoes. I could probably shave a minute off of each. It has been awhile since my last sprint tri, so I will just be content with it as is.

In summary, it was a great day. I had a lot of fun not only racing, but also in training the 8-10 weeks leading up to this event.

Training Week 1 Review

I’m in. Yet again. This will mark my 3rd attempt at the Ironman distance triathlon. This time, the venue is Ironman Florida, in Panama City.  It’s great because it’s close to home and will provide me will more excuses to go down to the panhandle this Summer!

With my registration comes the need to train. Not that I haven’t been training. The real need is to pay attention and train smart. Note – I’m tempted to say “train right” as a bit of foreshadowing, but I haven’t quite bit that bullet yet.

Week 1 in review:

Swim: I got in the pool. Yay!  A total of 1500 meters that day. Things felt good. This is the easiest place for me to get burned out, so I’m going to be careful as to how frequently I visit the underwater hamster wheel. My first triathlon of 2012 will be April at the earliest and no more than 2000 meters, so I’m in good shape for that already.

Bike: I rode just over 80 miles this week. One workout was on a spin bike while the other two were open road, including a 50+ mile ride on Saturday. Nutrition was my only issue on the ride. I should have packed more sports drink, or a couple of packs of Cliff Shot Blocks.

Run: I ran 18.9 miles, with a long run of 10 miles on Sunday. Everything feels good – but kinda feels like slow motion. The 10 miler was averaging around a 9:40 pace. Not bad for my longest run since March.

Weights: I lifted one day, hitting biceps, triceps, shoulders and abs.

Tennis:  Yes, I’m still playing tennis through this. I went to drills and had a singles match this week. This totaled around 2 1/2 hours of my “training” this week.

In all, it was just short of 12 hours of athletics. My current concerns are over-training, under-training, and improper training.  Geez – I think that about covers it. I’ll be working on a plan for dealing with those fears over the coming few weeks. 51 more weeks to go!

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2010 Ironman Augusta 70.3 Race Report

This race marks my fifth race at the 1/2 iron distance triathlon, but my first of the Ironman-branded variety. I personally had a tough time with this some years back, because an Ironman is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run. But there are some people that do these Ironman 70.3 races and then call themselves an Ironman. Whatever – that’s between them and their conscience. With Lake Placid and Wisconsin in my rear view mirror, I decided it was time to take advantage of the big crowds and support crew of these bigger 70.3 races.

This race also marks my first under a new coach. I hired him last month and have only been through roughly 4 weeks with him, so I assured him that if this race resulted in a poor outcome that I fully accepted the responsibility. Once this season ends in late October, I will post more about my thoughts on my coach and the future. But let me say that his past experience at this race greatly helped keep me focused on what I needed (and didn’t need) to do in the few days leading up to the race.

I arrived at the race site on Saturday afternoon and was greeted by a huge line for athlete check-in. The line was occupied by many non-athletes, but once you reached the actual check-in point they weeded all those folks out so it wasn’t congested where the actual work was taking place. It is funny what a matter of a few minutes makes – at 4pm the line wrapped around the corridor. At 4:45pm it was about 1/3 its size. After picking up my packet, I took my bike down to the transition area (roughly 1 mile away) and checked it in. The logistics of this race really bothered me up until I went to sleep Saturday night.

Sunday I awoke thinking to myself “Self, this isn’t fun any more.” I had always told myself once it stopped being fun I would stop doing it. Of course, saying this to yourself once does not really mean anything. If I said that over and over for a year I would have to give it serious thought. I shaved, showered, packed the Xterra (I wouldn’t be coming back to my room after the race) and began the walk with my transition bag down to my bike. This all went smooth. Light drizzle began to fall at 6:30 as I was leaving the transition area.


Savannah River – Ironman Augusta 70.3
Originally uploaded by Iron Mike Schubert

Swim 1.2 Miles – 30:10

It’s raining now. Not that it matters – I’m getting wet anyway. The physically challenged athletes went off a few waves in front of mine. Of note was a blind guy and a guy with one leg. I saw them both later on the bike course and was thankful that I am able to compete with no physical impairments. This event is a river swim and while you don’t feel it, it is definitely there. There was the usual jostling for the first 1/4 mile or so but then everyone found their place and just swam. The only sighting issue I had was at swim finish. The buoys were still way to the left and it was not obvious that I should be turning right. I think I wasted an extra minute or two here. No big deal though – I’m very happy with my time.

 


My Bike in Transition Area – Ironman Augusta 70.3
Originally uploaded by Iron Mike Schubert

Bike 56 Miles – 2:46:36 (20.2 mph)

It rained. The entire time. The bike course is great – rolling with only 1 or 2 real climbs that I recall. Early in the ride, I hit a hole in the road that was filled with water (that’s why I didn’t see it) and my sippee cup flew off my bars and landed in the road. Evidently I had missed a hole or didn’t double the strap back when securing it in the dark this morning. Of course, that was all my fluids for the first 19 miles, and I hadn’t drank anything yet since I had just gotten on my bike 15 minutes ago. So already I knew this would be interesting.

Mile 19 came and I was very happy to get water and dump in some of my concentrated Infinit. Nutrition began flowing instantly and I was feeling great. I guess holding my mouth open to catch the rain was a good strategy. Had it been warmer that day, I would’ve been screwed. As it was, I was able to maintain over 20mph across the bike course and have good legs to run on.

 

Run 13.1 Miles – 2:09:53 (9:54 / mile)

The run was pretty flat. There was a gradual grade that was virtually unnoticeable. Fortunately, it stopped raining when I hit mile 2. Unfortunately, I did not have dry socks in my bag in transition so by mile 4 my feet were starting to blister. And oh by the way, I found that my Garmin 405 had frozen at 9:25 am while I was out on my bike – so I was flying blind on the run. Yikes! 

When I ran past the finish line the first time I saw the time clock say 4:45:00, so I knew getting in under 6 hours was within my reach. I felt like I was dragging on the run and would be cutting it close. Without my watch, I really had no way to know. The second loop I walked a few times, but once I hit mile 11 I started motoring. When I came around the corner into the finish chute I looked up and saw 5:58:10 on the time clock and knew I had blown 6 hours out of the water. That clock started with the pros and I was somewhere between 20-24 minutes behind them! I was so overjoyed and overwhelmed that I was near tears. After crossing the line, I turned around to look at the clock again just to make sure it said the same thing on both sides!

Overall time – 5 hours 38 minutes 27 seconds. My best at the 70.3 discipline.

Parting Thoughts

A lot of folks sit back in retrospect and look at what went wrong. This race represents a lot that went right for me. Speed work on the track on Wednesday nights. The Thursday night hammer fest in Roswell after work. A decent amount of time in the pool and practicing in open water. And above all else, a well executed game plan. I was concerned that the logistics of the race would stress me out. Losing my fluid & nutrition for the first 19 miles was almost my demise, but a huge lesson learned as well (even that needs a plan B on the bike). Not having a watch to pace my run presented a huge challenge. Having a mental plan (or formulating one on the fly) and then executing to it made me very successful on this day.

Would I race Augusta again? Probably. It gets dogged because of the river current. But fine, add 10 minutes to my swim time and I’m still well under 6 hours. Triathlon is about more than just the swim. I still had to propel myself over the open road by bike and foot.

Do I love this sport? Definitely. I shouldn’t take myself too seriously at 4:30 on a race morning!

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