Saturday, November 3, 2012

Desire, part 4

The last change made in training was to actually start swimming. No joke

Last year my swim wasn't just slow, it was literally incompetent! I was only able to maintain freestyle approximately half the swim leg, the rest of it I had to breaststroke. Pretty discouraging.

I had been looking for a coach but hadn't found one yet and couldn't really figure out how to fit it in. Then by a stroke of luck the equivalent if a swimming angel fell in to my life in the form of Margaret Sharp, with an offer to swim with her and get help twice a week at times that worked for me

With three months to go I started the fastest swim build I could stand with some great coaching on technique

I'm not going to say I swim well now but I certainly swim better! This makes me look forward to 2013 even more though - still so much room for improvement, I've made up 5 minutes at least and I figure there are 5 more pretty easily

Desire, part 3

This post should really be titled something like "jogging slow to run fast". Last year was a parade if running injuries leading up to Austin 70.3, with the last month of prep being spent almost entirely on the elliptical machine to avoid irritating a bad case of posterior tibial tendinitis. Something about purely cycling, with feet locked into carbon soles shoes left me unprepared for the demands if running, not surprisingly

This year I trained the run the whole year but followed the slowest progression imaginable, and never running fast until right near the end once I had the full duration under control

Even then I still nearly triggered the tendinitis again casing one training break, and I was also on the limit with regard to my Achilles.

I survived the progression though and for the first time in my life I was able to run 2 hours straight without injury, still with 5 weeks or so to go.

From that point I did some speed tests to figure out what running fitness was preset, including some shorter triathlons and culminating in my first ever half-marathon, done with a 6:16 or so pace. That effort alone left me sore until almost the day of the event but for the first time ever I knew I would get off the bike with confidence.

Desire, part 2

Continuing on from the last post about my quest to go much faster at the Austin 70.3 than I did in 2012, the biggest thing I did was change up my training.

Last year I was nearly all bike all the time. This year I focused on the bike early in the year (in the process having great fun with my cycling team SquadraSF), then let the bike fade with the exception if two big weeks before the event to maintain the early season work

This was a little risky with the event so dependent on a fast bike split, but I tried to manage that with a lot of work improving my time trial position.

I bought the first brand new bike I've purchased in half a decade, and tricked it out pretty good, to find myself heading in to the event with much more speed than I've ever had in a TT before despite the cycling fitness fade. This carved time out for the other two sports to good effect...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Desire, part 1

At the start of August, I had pretty good fitness and started feeling all smug about it. This attitude usually doesn't end well for me.

I decided to go to the Patterson Pass Road Race for the Masters 35+ district championship road race to test myself against the best, and promptly was served my own gluteus maximus on a fancy plate. Great power numbers (for me). Thorough butt-whipping.

It was brutal but fair. I had good fitness but I hadn't managed all the details. One in particular was body weight - bike racing is pretty sensitive to weight but I wasn't in fighting trim and I'd been basically lying to myself about it, pretending it didn't matter much.

I read a study around the same time that indicated running performance correlated with body weight even more than cycling. So tightly that you got around 1% faster for each 1% body weight you lost, assuming all the normal caveats (as in, you visited a doctor, know your current lean mass and target a healthy loss rate and final body fat percentage between 6-10% but not lower unless you like being ill physically or mentally)

So I'm really glad I had that wakeup call - knowing I had one more big A race this year (Austin 70.3 triathlon) that I really really wanted to do well in and 3 months to go, I decided to get my act together while I still had a realistic opportunity to lose the new weight I'd been carrying around since my son arrived.

There are a lot of things you have to do to have excellent performances, and I'm sure I'm missing a few, but this is one of them and I got this one right at least. 

So from one perspective - this is what desire looks like. 10 pounds in 3 months - it can be done and I'm not superhuman - maybe this will motivate who ever is reading this if you've been contemplating a change.

2 days to go till race day