Sunday, January 29, 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

2011 Racing and Training Gear - Some Old and Some New

In 2011 I got a couple of new things, mostly I used the same old stuff.  I will start with the two new things for 2011.
The newest thing for 2011 was my Blue Seventy Axis wetsuit.  Purchased at Gear West, as are all of my triathlon related purchased.  This wetsuit is tighter, in a good way, I think, than my old QR.  This wetstuit fits better in my shoulders and arms than my QR.  It is tighter across my chest than the QR.  The Axis fits better in the neck, about the same as the QR below the waist.  I used a wetsuit less in 2011 than in previous years, partly due to the water temperatures and partly due to the distances I raced.  So, I didn't get the use out it that I was looking forward to.  The Axis does not have a "break away" zipper like the QR, so I had to get used to that.  The zipper on the QR is one feature I really did like, but I think that a wetsuit that fits and feels better is more important than the zipper.  The Axis does have the "swim panels" in the forearms, not sure how much of an advantage it provides.  Based on articles I have read, the manufacturers do not know either, and just put them on because everyone is doing it.   
The Axis does feel faster, this might be due to the better fit.  Hopefully, I get to use it more in 2012.

I do continue to swim with Speedo Active Goggles - Air Seal Tri Mirror.  I have been swimming with these goggles for a couple of years and I think they are the best goggles I have ever worn.  They don't leak, they have a good amount of tint, and they fit my head right.
The other new purchase is Saucony Kinvara shoes.  I have run on Asics for the last 6+ years and I decided to try something different.  I went into Gear West Ski and Run, where I have been buying shoes for the last 4 years or so, and they took a look at the wear on my old Asics, I told them I was looking for something I could race and train in, and they recommended the Kinvara.  I really like the shoe.  It is light, but not as light as a pure racing shoe, and they are still supportive, also they are relatively inexpensive.  I think the pair was about 90 bucks.  In 2012 I will probably go with another pair.  Apparently, there is now a Kinvara, hopefully they are the same, or better than the Kinvara.

So, those are my two new purchases for 2011.  Now to the old stuff.  Same QR Seduza I have had since October 2006.  Same bike I will ride in 2012.  I would LOVE a QR Illicito, but that is not going to happen.  Maybe 2013?  Before 2007 season I upgraded drive train with Ultegra front derailleur, brakes, and crank and it came with Dura-Ace rear derailleur.  Before the 2007 I also bought a Zipp Z6 wheelset (404 front and 808 rear) and replaced the stock seat with a Serfas Tri Seat.  I really like the Serfas seat and will replace it with another in 2012, since my current seat feels like it is done (Ouch).  I am going with the another Serfas because the seat works for me and it is less than a hundred bucks.  I see everyone riding those ISM split saddles, they are expensive and I don't feel like experimenting with a new seat.  Maybe in the future.
I think it was 2009 that I got the Easton Attack TT bars, which I will stick with.  Eventhough they are not adjustable and have an aggressive position, I am used to the feel and they make the cockpit look cool.  I think in 2009, I bought my Lazer Tardis aero helmet, which was another great purchase.
In 2010 I purchased new Bontrager brake levers and the Zipp Sub-9 disc. The brake lever purchase was mainly to improve the look of the bike, the clunky aluminum brake levers looked terrible.
The wheel purchases are the best money I have ever spent.  Those Zipp wheels are AWESOME.  I love racing on those wheels, I never ride on them, only race on them.  Race wheels are one of the best purchases you can make if you are doing triathlons and duathlons, and/or bike racing.

I think it was 2009 that I got a pair of SLS3 Compressions socks through the Gear West Test Team.  At the time I was injured with a stress fracture and it seemed they did not feel right.  In late 2009/early 2010 I got a new pair.  During the season I wear the socks the day(s) leading up to the race, the day of the race, sometimes the day after the race, during hard training days, and during the offseason I wear them whenever I work at OHP or on hard work out days.  I really like the socks, and I think they do help recovery, hence why I wear them when I wear them.  At some point, I would like to purchase compression socks from another manufacturer to see if there is a difference, but for the moment I will stick with what I got.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2011 Training and Racing Totals and Comparison to Previous Years

Below is a comparison of my training, racing time included, data from year to year starting in 2007.

My swim time/yardage was down from previous two years, but most of that decrease is in the later half of the year.  From 2010 to 2011 my average swim time, in races, basically stayed the same at the Olympic and Sprint Distance.
My bike training time was the highest of any year, without doing any half-IMs.  My average bike speed in Olympic, Sprint, and Duathlons was basically the same from 2010 to 2011
My run time has been increasing since my injury in 2009.  I would be surprised if I ever run as much as I did in 2008.  My run time, not surprisingly, improved from 2010 to 2011. 
I think there always needs to be a balance between intensity and duration.  I think that in 2012 I need to pickup some of my training intensity to show improvement in speed.  In 2012 I plan on racing less and continuing to race shorter (Sprint and Olympic), hopefully this will allow me to improve my speed.

Below is month-to-month, including 2010 off-season

The biggest months, are April and May, to be expected as we build volume before the race season, and July and August, the months where I did the most races.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 December Training Summary (No Racing)

December was all training, and no racing.  Pretty decent month, more swiming that the previous two months.  A little less running and biking than last two months.  My goal was to back it off in Oct, Nov, and Dec, and I did do that.
Not really much to say about December.  I will need to starting bumping up the yardage and time in January.  I am going to try and make January a run focus month, hope to get about 7 hours of running in, maintain the bike about 7-8 hours, and try to swim every Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
I am currently registered for 6 race in 2012, St. Anthony's Triathlon, Gear West Duathlon, Lake Waconia, OHP Manitou Sprint, OHP MinneMan, and OHP Twin Cites.

Comparisons of Decembers

Total and Averages Since 2007

YTD and Totals Since 2007