Sunday, August 30, 2009

IM Louisville Quick Summary

1:12 swim - Some drift wood floating down the river passed me.
5:07 bike - More challenging than I anticipated.
2:55 run - Where'd that come from?

9:20 overall, 2nd amateur, 2nd in my AG (damn!), 17th overall.

I absolutely nailed nutrition. Salt pills are my new best friend.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The past two days

Yesterday morning I did an hour swim including a 2000m time trial at IM pace. I took a split each 500m:

0000-0500m - 8:21 = 1:40/100m
0500-1000m - 8:28 = 1:41/100m
1000-1500m - 8:43 = 1:44/100m
1500-2000m - 8:41 = 1:44/100m

Hmm...looks like I've got to work on what I believe is called "muscular endurance" - it's not my aerobic system causing the slowdown. I suppose that's what all the paddle work is for.

Yesterday evening including a trainer ride with 30 min at 145 bpm and 4 x 5 min at 260 W, which could be in the 30 min. I started with 10 minutes near 145 bpm and averaged 243 W at 143 bpm (I was >140 bpm at the start of the effort) and 79 rpm.

Next, I did 5 min at 261 W, 143 bpm (starting from 120 bpm or so) and 80 rpm. I followed that up with an identical 3 minute effort, after which I decided to err on the side of rest and put a stop to the hard efforts. It's not that I was hurting, just that I was starting to have to work a bit harder. I rode for a total of 1:10. After the workout, my legs were a bit stiff, so I think I made the right call.

Today I started off with an easy 30 minute run with one mile at 6:30 pace. In the evening, I hopped on the trainer once more for a planned two hour ride. I cut it short by a half hour because I still have a few minor things to take care of this evening before I'm all packed, and I want to avoid rushing to keep my stress level down. I included a bit over 20 minutes at 249 W, 147 bpm, 80 rpm and felt strong. After that, I just cruised until I racked up an hour and a half.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

IMLouisville Plan

Wake up at 4:15 AM or so. Breakfast at about 4:30 AM. 900 calories in the form of two English muffins with peanut butter, a glass of OJ and a V8. Also, two cups coffee. Carry a water bottle with me from here until the race starts and drink as thirst dictates, but not forcing fluids.

Swim start: The swim start at Lou is unique in that it's a time trial start. Everyone is supposed to be in the water within a half hour. I'm not going to rush to try to get in line early. Instead, I'll just get in line when I am ready. As far as pacing goes, there isn't much of an option except to use RPE. How deep of breath I require is a good indication at the start of the swim or at other times when adrenaline may override RPE. In addition to pacing, I MUST FOCUS THE ENTIRE SWIM. No letting my mind wander to other parts of the race and letting my effort slide. Maintain a steady effort through the second half of the swim. Focus on effort, arm entry, extension, catch, and pull (though not necessarily all at the same time).

Transition 1: Grab the correct bag. GRAB THE CORRECT BAG! I've screwed up a transition in each of my last two IMs, and my screw-up in LP cost me probably a minute a so and potentially the AG win. Otherwise, relax. RELAX! Saving two seconds by sprinting isn't going to win the race. Be calm, yet attentive, and keep the HR down.

Bike pacing: Early in the ride pace based on RPE, but let power control. Don't go much above 220 W on flats. Don't work too hard to pass people, as I may have a lot of passes to complete. Do not be afraid to sit 7M behind an overzealous rider that passes me. Try to figure out how many W are going to be required for a pass before making it - do not kill myself just to pass one rider.

As the ride goes on, settle into a steady IM effort. DO NOT CHASE WATTS! Do not try to sit at 220 W the whole time if that effort feels hard. If that effort feels easy, be very, very cautious. Cross-reference HR if it is available (on that note, I believe I simply need to change the battery in my CPU to get HR going again - I'm making the change today). Cadence should be 80-85, but don't worry too much about checking this because that's where I typically naturally ride.

Be prepared to beging feeling ftigued before 80 miles. You've ridden hard before and still been able to run, you can do it again. That said, ride my own race and don't pick up the effort to make passes that will only save a few seconds. Sit 7m back from anyone that passes me or is going a good speed.

Spin a high cadence and decrease the effort the last two minutes or so of the ride.

Bike nutrition: Begin drinking fluid whenever I feel like it, likely just a few minutes into the ride. Drink Gatorade as thirst dictates, but ensure that I'm going through at least one bottle per hour, providing 200 cal/hour. (That's about the bear minimum I ever drink, so I doubt drinking less than that will be a problem.) If I don't have to pee by mile 60, considering increasing fluid intake.

Eat Powerbars at the beginning of the ride. Carry 2 bars (>400 cal total) and the bars in pieces over the first two to three hours. That gives me a minimum of 300 cal/hour, and I'll almost certainly drink another 50 cal/hour or so in Gatorade (i.e., in addition to the 200 cal/hour mentioned above) because I'll probably drink more than 1 bottle/hour. I will also carry 5 gels in a gel flask. That's 500 calories. Begin supplementing Gatorade with gel once Powerbars run out.

Drink water instead of Gatorade as taste dictates. Consider grabbing water to wash down Powerbars and gels if an aid station is approaching. Reduce calorie consumption around mile 105 to give my stomach time to settle.

Transition 2: Same as transition 1. Relaxed, not hurrying, calm and attentive. Hurrying is more likely to cost time than save it here.

Run racing: RPE is my guide. Override RPE during the first mile or two. 160 HR expected. If it is hot, be cautious and start slow. Start a notch below where RPE would dictate if the temp feels warm. Slowing 30 seconds a mile for two or three miles only costs 1:00-1:30. Going too fast could cost 20:00. Do not chase a split - let RPE and the conditions be the guide. Quick cadence.

Run nutrition: Carry salt tablets. Eat them frequently. Each pill only include 40mg of sodium, so even 10 pills/hour isn't too much.

Otherwise, have coke and water. If I feel like Gatorade, gel, etc., have it. If I have a gel, eat is slowly between aid stations. Pay attention to how I feel and let that dictate how much to consume. If I'm really thirsty, that's a sign that my body needs water. Slowing a bit to drink more is going to be faster in the end. Think and be aware and attentive.

Have a flat Red Bull in a sports bottle in my special needs bag. Red Bull is tasty, and I'm told it "gives you wings", whatever that means.

Put ice down my shirt. Dump water on myself. Do whatever cools me down.

Always: Stay positive. STAY POSITIVE! Repeat a mantra if necessary. Know that I can run every step of the race. Know that I can finish no matter how I feel. Keep going. The point is to have fun - have fun. Smile and embrace the pain - I may not know I'm doing my last IM until after the fact.

Result: Win AG. Set a new PR (yeah, yeah, there are no PRs). Enjoy the finish, no matter what. Go get some beer and pizza and ice cream.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I can't believe IMLou is just a few days away

It certainly doesn't feel like I've got another IM approaching. The build-up and anticipation for Lake Placid lasted a year. Now Louisville is just around the corner, and I've got enough other stuff going on that I haven't sat and focused on the race. That's my goal while getting to sleep tonight - spend a few minute visualizing the race. Stacey and I have made a list of things to bring, and she's going to get all my food organized. Thanks, Stacey! I think I'll try to begin packing tomorrow so that I don't have to rush Wednesday or Thursday before heading back to Battle Creek and then on to Louisville.

I've started using a few of Chuckie's secrets for dealing with the potential heat during the race, but amazingly has the high for Sunday predicted as 71 degrees. Still, I'm going to be mentally (and physically!) prepared for hot weather. I just downed a big glass of V8 for its sodium content, and might have another small glass.

Anyhow, Sunday's ride went well. I started around 190 W for the first hour, and then slowly built up to 220 W and held that until two and a half hours into the ride. After the two and a half hour point, I decided to back off a bit to 190-200 W for the last two hours. I didn't want to spend this week fatigued. I think my approach worked well - it was a solid ride and I can feel the effort today, but I'm not beat by any means (although I wanted to sleep in a bit more this morning).

Today I did an hour swim, getting in just under 3km, though the plan called for 1:20 and 4.2km. Rationale - shoulders still pretty sore from Saturday's swim. Still, a good workout and I worked really hard doing 5 x 100m at the end. I also went for a 20 minute run, nice and easy.

Overall, I'm feeling good and will be ready come Sunday!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My longest swim ever (I think)

5500m swim ... All in all not too bad - probably the best I've felt at the end of a 4500+ m swim. Thanks mom for going with me and swimming every other 50m for the hard sets to keep me on pace. My fly could use some work - I only did 25m (well, more like 20m) of fly for each for each of the 200 IMs.

1:30 run ... Felt good, didn't look at my HR and just did it by feel. It took 15 minutes or so for the jello feeling in my legs from swimming earlier in the day to go away, but I averaged 6:57/mile at 154 bpm. Most of that was on pavement, but I ran a mile or so along a new park in Battle Creek near Helmer and Gethings.

0:50 ride ... Just a recovery ride. My HR monitor in my powermeter is definitly on the fritz - it read 145 bpm for many portions of this ride, even though I kept my power around 150 W. I tried to have the CPU "re-learn" my HR strap, but to no avail. I will try replacing the battery in the strap before today's ride. Also, my cadence sensor isn't getting picked up! This initially occured right before IMLP, so I put a new battery in and things appeared to be working fine until a few days ago on the trianer when my cadence was 170 during normal riding.

Anyhow, the HR errors are causing me to question my HR data all the way back to IMLP. Hopefully I can get it sorted out before today's ride.

1:30 ride at an easy effort. I kept my watts around 175, ignoring the messed up HR readings. I felt great. Legs felt strong, even though I didn't test 'em.

Morning swim went fine, not much to say.

Track workout ... Sets of 800m on 3:05 with 3:05 jogging between. Legs felt great, much better than last time I tried this workout. Unfortunately, I had to take a nature break and the bathrooms at the track were locked (despite there being 25 or so people at the track or playing in the infield and a bunch more people at adjacent tennis courts). I felt like reaching 12 of these wouldn't have been too tough, as I still had plenty of energy and strength left after 7. Stats:

1 - 2:58, 161 bpm
2 - 3:03, 162 bpm
3 - 2:57, 162 bpm
4 - 3:00, 168 bpm
5 - 2:59, 168 bpm
6 - 3:01, 167 bpm
7 - 2:59, 168 bpm

Compare these values to the ones posted below for the last time I did this workout. My HR is 10 bpm lower for the seventh rep this time, although the temperature was quite a bit lower for the present workout.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

An unconventional IM taper

I haven't updated in a few days, so here goes:

Monday included a fairly short swim - 2200m - and an easy one hour spin. Piece of cake, although I was still tired from the weekend.

Tuesday I could still feel some fatigue from the weekend. First up was a swim including fifty 50m's on 50 seconds (pretty easy to remember!) with paddles sandwiched between a warm-up and cool-down. I hit the first twenty five 50m's on 50 seconds, initially coming in at 44s and slowing to 47s and occasionally 48s. After that, I moved to a 55s send-off, and came in on 50s without too much effort. After forty five 50m's, I needed a bit of stretch and did two lengths kicking and backstroke, respectively, to stretch out, and then I finished up the 50m's. Lots of swimming in the past few days!

I also did a 45 minute run. I could still feel some fatigue from the weekend, but nothing too bad.

Today called for two rides, one in the morning and one in the evening. Both were tough...actually, they were the same except the evening included longer rest periods. After a warm-up and some spin-ups, I did 8 Tabatha sprints. Those damn things tire me out for the rest of the set! Next up was 10 min. @ 260 W and 85 rpm, then 8 min. @ 260 W and 80 rpm, then 6 min. @ 260 W and 75 rpm, then 4 min. @ 260 W and 70 rpm and finally 2 min. @ 260 W and 65 rpm. In the morning, I ran out of time after the 8 min. set. Somehow it took me 53 minutes to get to through the 8 min. set, so I did a cool down and finished. Still, my legs felt the effort. I nailed the evening set, however. As a not, my HR was 160 +/- 3 bpm for all the 260 W sets.

Now I'm having a protein smoothie with honey, blackberries, a banana, OJ, ice, lime juice, strawberries, and some frozen tropical fruit blend. Tasty!

Monday, August 17, 2009


First up, Alan Couzens has a great training article over on his blog - . I wonder how much playing hockey and tennis as a kid contributed to my ability now? How many training hours did I get out of two or three practices and two games per week for 10 years?

Friday called for a tough swim. However, Stacey and I planned to head over to Plymouth to stay at her bro's house so we could go for an early ride on Saturday. By the time I got my stuff packed and ready to go, it was getting pretty late. Instead of the tough swim, I only got in 1500m. I tried to make that worthwhile by including some hard 100's and Tabata sprints. Oh well.

Saturday included a 4.5 hour ride and a short transition run. We started early, but by 10AM or so it was hot - good prep for Louisville. I drank a lot of fluid, often times drinking until my stomach was full and I could feel the liquid sloshing around. Despite working at IM effort, the high rate of fluid consumption didn't bother me. And, even though I drank a lot, I weighed myself post workout and after having 12 oz. of OJ and another 12 oz. of chocolate milk and found I lost 2 lbs., or nearly 4 pounds if the recovery drinks are not considered.

I averaged about 21.5 mph for 95 miles in 4:25 including a quick warm-up and cool-down and all the slowing required when riding through towns...not too shabby, especially without aero gear. Wattage avg. was 199 W with zeros, with most riding between 210 and 215 W. HR was high - 149 bpm avg. I think maybe my strap needs a new battery, as my HR would occasionally shoot up to 160 bpm or higher and then drop back to 150 or so with no change in effort. What really keys me off is how quickly it drops - sometimes HR went down by 15 bpm in a second or two.

Afters I did a transition run with 5 minutes hard (and mostly uphill!) and then 10 minutes easy. I felt good, all things considered.

Sunday included a 5000m swim and a 1:30 run. The swim was tough. I was tired from Saturday's ride, but I hung in there and completed the swim. About 4000m into the set, my shoulders were exhausted. Still, I told myself to suck it up. I want to be a better swimmer, but wanting is not enough. I've got to put in the work. Every time I slowed down, I'd talk myself into picking the effort back up because that's what it's going to take to improve. Anyhow, I finished the swim with 10 Tabata sprints, although not a blazing speeds.

After a rest, a smoothie, and watching some track & field world championships, I headed out into the 90 degree weather for a run. The plan called for 4 x 15 minutes at 150 bpm or 7:00/mile, and although the two didn't line up as a result of, I suspect, the heat. I paced myself with the former, and ran at about 7:30/mile for the sets. I felt better as the run went on, and the heat didn't really bother me, other than slowing me a bit.

Finally, I did a 30-some minute recovery ride in the evening. All-in-all a solid weekend.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Real training again!

Alright, back to "real" training. None of that 120 bpm crap. I finally got my legs nice and tired with yesterday's ride. I started the ride with a brief warm-up and then did a readiness test. The results were right in line with previous tests that indicate I'm not too fatigued:
3 minutes at 136 bpm, 218 W, 84 rpm
3 minutes at 150 bpm, 255 W, 81 rpm

Next, I did a few spins ups and then some on the bike "weight lifting". The goal for the lifting portion was 10 minutes at each of 45 rpm, 55 rpm and 65 rpm, all with a HR of 145 bpm. The problem is I cannot ride at 45 rpm and 145 bpm with my gearing. In my hardest gear, 53 x 12, I spin at nearly 55 rpm at 145 bpm. So, I did 20 minutes at 55 rpm and 10 minutes at 65 rpm. My legs didn't feel too shelled, but I could tell I worked 'em. I focused on a still and relaxed upper body.

Finally, I did 15 minutes at 103 rpm and 151 bpm, and that felt like my legs were moving round fast!

I felt good after the ride, so I headed across the street to the 1 square block park and jogged a few bare foot laps.

Today I did a morning swim with a lot of pulling sets. I've got to pay attention to my right elbow during tomorrow's swim because it felt a bit odd during my run (but not during today's swim). I will back off tomorrow if I notice anything out of the ordinary. I'm sure it's nothing, but better safe than sorry.

After work I headed to the track for some 800s. My legs were a bit tired from yesterday's ride, and I just felt a bit tired (I could have used another hour of sleep last night). Anyhow, the target time was 3:05 per 800m, repeated 8 times with 3:05 slow running between. I ran most of the sets a few seconds too fast. Stats:
1 - 3:02, 166 bpm
2 - 2:59, 164 bpm
3 - 3:01, 167 bpm
4 - 3:01, 171 bpm
5 - 3:03, 174 bpm
6 - 3:01, 176 bpm
7 - 3:01, 178 bpm
8 - 3:03, 179 bpm (that's approaching my 5K HR of about 185 bpm)
I had the option of continuing, and I could have run several more sets below 3:05, although the 8th was a bit harder than the 1st and I didn't have to back off as much from my "hard" pace.

Anyhow, nice to be back at it and I'm feeling good.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Swim + Run

The swim including 16 x 50m on 50 sec. at 90%. I did the first one in 44 sec., then lost a second each 50 until I leveled off at 47-48 seconds. Still, leaving on 52-53 seconds isn't bad.

Next up was 12 x 50m on 55 sec. at 95%. I sped up a bit to 43 seconds at first and grudually slowed to 47 seconds, leaving on 57 sec by the end.

Once again, I didn't speed up much even though I picked the effort level up to 100% for 8 x 50m on 1 minute. I started at 40 sec. then quickly dropped to 47.

For the last 4 x 50m, I didn't time myself. Instead, I raced Stacey giving her a 5 sec. head start. I didn't have much strength left at this point.

I also did an easy 30 minute run. No much to comment about there.


From the Battle Creek Enquirer:
"BICYCLE ACCIDENT: Battle Creek firefighters and LifeCare paramedics on Monday lifted Josh Allwardt, 20, of Ceresco, to an ambulance after he collided with a car while he was riding a bicycle on Capital Avenue Southwest just north of Washington Avenue. A witness, Chris Vaden, said Allwardt was northbound in the bike lane when a northbound car passed him and then attempted a right turn into a driveway. Allwardt flipped over the car and landed on the sidewalk. Battle Creek police said the accident occurred at 12:26 p.m. and identified the driver of the car as Sally Coonfare, 32, of Battle Creek."

Read the first sentence of the article and tell me who is at fault. The article, like most others reporting when a car driver hits a cyclist, is full of bias. Mr. Allwardt was not taken to the hospital because of his own actions, as is implied when stating that "he collided with a car". Mr. Allwardt was taken to the hospital because a driver drove her car into him. Again, a northbound car did not "pass him and then attempt a right turn into a driveway" as the article states. In fact, no car that I'm aware of has ever attempted to make a turn on its own accord. Instead, Ms. Coonfare attempted a turn immediately after she passed a cyclist, and Ms. Coonfare drove her car into Mr. Allwardt. The article should begin by stating that Mr. Allwardt was lifted to a hospital because Ms. Coonfare drove her car into him as he road his bike in accordance with traffic laws. Language matters, and horribly written articles like the one above perpetuate the common attitude that cyclists do not belong on roads and are at fault for all accidents! If the author of the story wants to be a writer, I would suggest the author understand what words actually mean.

Anyhow, yesterday was a pretty easy day. I swam 2K to make up for having to cut short Sunday's swim, and then rode the trainer for 1:15 at an easy pace (should have been 1:30, but I ran out of Lost DVDs to watch and called it a night). I feel good and do not notice any fatigue. I'm looking forward to some upcoming harder riding efforts.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Two rides plus some...

I planned on starting off with a rant about how this article -,8599,1914857,00.html - is the dumbest thing I've ever read, about how every idiot should know that exercise doesn't make one lose weight if one eats more calories immediately post exercise than one burns, about how overweight people that want to lose weight cannot reward themselves for every single healthy action they take and expect to lose weight, about how hilarious yet sad it is to see obese people complete a 5K walking event only to stop at the post-event food table and eat two 450 calorie bagels and a Powerbar, about how one simply has to eat healthy food when one becomes hungry instead of eating french fries even though french fries may taste better, about how the "woe is me" attitude of so many overweight people is a just a way to avoid personal responsibility for one's action. But I won't. I'm not going to waste my time on it.

Anyhow, back on the topic of the blog - training - Friday was an off day. Stacey and I went out to dinner at a cool seafood restaurant in Birmingham, and we even got some dessert afterward.

Saturday we headed to Lansing, partially to escape the 'burbs and ride on low-traffic rural roads. I started off with a 45 minute run with Stacey and her mom, and we got rained on the pretty steadily the entire run. Toward the end of the run the rain turned into a downpour, which was fun. (Note that that is not sarcasm; way more adults need to suck it up and get outside even when the weather isn't perfect...they may actually find it enjoyable!)

After the run, I waited a few hours until the weather cleared then headed out on my 'cross bike sans power meter, which I brought instead of the tri-bike because I expected to get rained on. No rain came, though it was windy, warm and humid. Despite riding the first 45 minutes into the wind at a paltry 14 mph to keep my HR below 130 bpm, I ended up riding 54 miles in 3 hours with my HR around 125-130 bpm. The ride was very easy and I felt fine afterwards. A good sign of a recovery from IMLP, I suppose.

Sunday I decided to ride first and swim second, though the plan called for the opposite, in order to get the ride done on quit roads outside of Lansing. The ride went well, although the temp started at 85 and rose to above 90, once again with a high humidity. The temp didn't get to me, but maybe because I wasn't working very hard. I still sweated buckets - good prep for IMLou. Once again, I kept the HR around 130 and got in another 54 miles or so (I didn't look at the CPU).

After driving back to Birmingham, I headed to Lifetime for a swim. About 1,000 m in I was stopped by a lifeguard. The pool was being closed, I was informed, for what sounded like scuba training. Scuba training? In a four foot deep pool??? Oh well, guess I will add the optional swim onto tomorrows workout.

Now it's time to munch on some carrots and watch an episode of Lost on the couch with Stacey.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Easy trainer ride

I got out of work late (had to complete an Office Action that was due today) and so I had to ride the trainer for an hour and a half. I popped in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and pedaled away (well, not really, being locked in place an all).

I felt fine on the trainer, and I didn't have any sign of fatigue. My output seemed quite low for 120 bpm, and I say "seemed" because I didn't use my power meter. One the plus side, I felt strong during the couple of pick-up efforts I performed.

The movie, by the way, is not very good. Still, I'll finish up my smoothie (second of the day...not much food in the fridge) while I watch the rest and wait for Stacey to get home from her dinner/interview.

I miss harder training during recovery times. I'm looking forward to my swim tomorrow to work on my technique a bit more and my jog just to get outside. That's one nice thing about easier training periods - they reaffirm that I really enjoy training.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Recovery; swim breakthrough?; nutrition plan; next year's schedule

A bunch of topics for this post. First up, recovery is continuing to progress, but I can still feel a bit of fatigue. During my ride yesterday, I kept the effort low and felt normal. However, during today's jog/walk, I could feel a scintilla of fatigue in the hip flexors/upper quads. I have to pay close attention to notice it, but it's there.

Next, I watched this video before today's swim:

I really focused on keeping my elbows high during the catch. To my surprise, at times I felt like I was able to grab a whole bunch more water. Now, not every stroke felt like that, but I could occasionally get in a good groove where my catch felt much more forceful. During paddle sets the paddles were really hard to pull through the was as if they were stuck in place. I sought out that feeling. On a side note, I noticed a bit more fatigue in the traps than normal.

Next up, I was considering a nutrition plan for IMLou. In the past, I've gone with Gatorade Endurance + Powerbars on the bike. I was thinking of doing the same for IMLou, but substituting gels for some of the Powerbars. Gatorade Endurance has 150 calories and 600 mg of sodium per 24 oz bottle, while each Powerbar has about 240 cal. and 200 mg sodium and a gel has about 100 cal. and 200 mg sodium. A bottle of Endurance and half a Powerbar or two gels each hour would be plenty of calories. I've never had digestion problems with Gatorade and Powerbars, and I'd be getting quite a bit of sodium with that plan. I'd also carry salt tablets on the run and occasionally pop one down. As I understand it, there can be a great deal of difference in the amount of sodium per pill from brand to brand.

Finally, although it's a long time off, I've got to start planning for next year given the nature of Ironman races. To my surprise, IMLP sold out immediately (historically this would not be surprising at all, but given that IMCdA hadn't sold out I thought the economy was taking its toll on IM participation -- apparently I was wrong). So, since the plan is to do Kona in 2010, I've got to qualify for 2010. Utah isn't an option (sold out), CdA isn't an option (I've got a wedding to own), IMLP isn't an option (see above), and IMMoo isn't an option (it's a 2011 qualifier). I doubt Florida or Arizona work time wise, and they're surely sold out anyhow. That leaves IMLou for 2010. Once again, I'll (hopefully) be doing two IMs in a short time span. This year should be a good trial run.

Oh, and on the gear front, I'm going to pick up a cheap white Desoto tri jersey and an item called 'arm wings' or something like that for IMLou. The white should help me stay a bit cooler and the wings will prevent sunburn.

Also on the gear front, is there a significant benefit to speed suits such as the Blue Seventy pointzero3 or whatever it's called? I could use it at a few races in the next year...

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Recovery is coming along. I got in a few easy rides (HR around 120 bpm) since IMLP. Yesterday I did a 1:15 ride (1:00 intended, but the route went a bit long) and a 20 minute flop in Lake Michigan. Stacey and I were in St. Joseph, MI watching my sister-in-law Teresa compete in Steelhead, her first HIM, aboard Blue Steel, her steel Bianchi road bike. I was on my feet a bit more than I wanted, but was able to rest 'em and get 'em elevated at times, too. I did a bit of informal running, too - basically running down the sidewalk at a slow pace to see Teresa on the bike out after seeing her exit the water, and running around the beach playing with Maggie.

Today I did an hour ride in the morning and another hour ride in the evening, with the drive home from between the rides. After the evening ride I did a bit of stretching, focusing on my hips, as they're the only area where I can still feel any soreness.

I haven't pushed it at all yet, and that's good because with a tiny bit of lingering soreness one week post-race I'm still probably not yet ready. This week's schedule looks pretty easy, and I'm confident that I'll be ready to put in some hard efforts in a week's time.

Also, I've been sitting on $100 or so of gift cards for a while and am looking for some reading recommendations. So far, I'm considering:

(1) Going Long, 2nd edition - I've read the first, so I'm not sure it's worth it to pick up the second. My biggest fault with the first edition is that the various training modes, and in particular base and build, are not well defined. It seems to me like instead of defining specific modes, there should instead be a fluid transition from general aerobic fitness and sport specific strength to event-specific training sessions. Maybe I'll get Swimming Fastest instead.
(2) Breakthrough Triathlon Training: How to Balance Your Busy Life, Avoid Burnout and Achieve Triathlon Peak Performance ... two training books would be all I can take for now. They're best for maintaining motivation and learning new tricks in the off season.
(3) Either The Omnivore's Dilemma or In Defense of Food. Which is the better read? Should I just get both?
(4) Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work - seems like a good read for me, given my current life situation.
(5) All the Pretty Horses. Okay, I've already got this one sitting on my nightstands. I've just got to get to it!