Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Some Thoughts Before St. Anthony's

This weekend I will be starting St. Anthony's for the 5th time. 
A few weeks before the 2009 race I found out about my bad stress fracture.  My plan was to swim, bike, and drop out.  There was no swim due to the weather, so I biked and dropped out.  The swim was shortened and moved last year, 2011, due to weather, so I did not get a true Olympic distance race out of it.  In 2010, I was coming off the stress fracture, so I was slow on the run, and my bike was not that great. 
2008 was my first year at St. Anthony's and my second year of triathlon. 2007 being my first season of triathlon and 2006 my first year of duathlon.  So there is a little history. 
The reason I mention all this, is that my goal for this year is to go under 2.5 hours at an Olympic distance race, any Oly.  I have gone under 2.5 hours, at the Twin Cities Tri, but the Mississippi River swim is ridiculously fast, so I don't count that.  I have gone about 2:31 at St. Croix Valley and 2:34 at Maple Grove.
Going under 2:30 at St. Anthony's is tough, not because the course is particularly difficult, it is nearly flat.  Most inclinces, and declines, are shallow and long, for both the bike and the run.  The challenge is the heat and how early it is in the season.  My run is usually not where it needs to be to go that fast early in the season.  I need to go under 30 minutes in the swim, under 1:10 on the bike, average over 21MPH, and run under 50 minutes.  I have done the bike around 1:10, at St. Anthony's and other Oly distance tris, and I have done Oly distance swims under 30 minutes, so that is doable.  I have run a 10K off the bike around 50 minutes.  The odds of all three being solidly fast this early in the season are slim, along with some fast transition times.  My best at St. Anthony's in 2008, at the full Oly is about 2:42.  If I had the full swim distance last year, I would have gone about the same time.
How do I feel this year, I think my swim is pretty good, and I feel under trained on the bike and run, compared to previous years.  I also feel a little fatigue.  Not too worried about the fatigue, I have felt that before and the rush of race day and some extra sleep the days before usually helps me through. 
So, what do I do?  What we should all do when going into a race, go out and enjoy the race and the day. In this case, enjoy the warm/hot weather, and have the strongest race I can have this earlier in the year.
More to come in about 5 days

Friday, April 20, 2012

OHP Indoor Triathlon Results - A little warm-up

Last Sunday, April 15th, I did the last OHP Indoor Triathlon of the year.
In February, I posted that I did the OHP Indoor Triathlon, but that time I did not do it formally.  I worked the CompuTrainer and then did the tri on my own to see how I would perform.  At that time, I felt I did ok.
The indoor triathlon is a 500 yard swim, a 5 mile CompuTrainer bike, and a 2 mile treadmill run. 
The 5 mile bike doesn't sound that bad, but it is tough, only a small downhill portion, a little bit flat, and 2%, 5%, and 6% climbs.  It is a challenging bike course.
I tried to treat this as a normal triathlon.  So, I got up and ate my normal breakfast.  On the way to OHP I had a donut and coffee, which I typically what I have on the way to a race, for a little extra kick in the morning and it gets my GI tract going before the race. 
There had been a water leak from the ceiling the night before from the studio ceiling, so I spent some time helping with cleanup, and then set my bike up on the CompuTrainer. 
I wore my one piece GW tri kit and weighed myself before warmup.  The weigh-in is necessary for the CompuTrainer, so it can correctly "load" you on the inclines.
There were a total of 23 people who did the tri, 11 of them were MJETs (MN Junior Elite Triathletes) who are 14-21 years old and way too fast for their age.  Just amazingly fast.
Anyway, I was in the first wave, there were 3 of us.  I did 100 yard warm-up and then we were off.
I went out way too fast.  My first 100 was about 1:15 and my 200 was about 2:40, this is way too fast.  I had to back off the last 200-300 yards.  I was struggling with breathing so I did some open turns to get some extra air.  The fact that I did this was a little disconcerting. I was happy with my time, about 7:21 for the 500, but I would have been happier with a more consistent swim.
I got out and headed to the bike.  I was the first of the three out, so I had some time to warm-up a little on the bike.  Once the other two guys got in I could start.  Being this was a 5 mile "sprint" I just hammered as best as I could.  The first portion is not too bad, there is the downhill, no grade, and short uphill, the last part is uphill and flat, and no downhill.  Basically, the last half is slower than the first half.  I felt pretty good coming off the bike.
I really wanted to go under 15 minutes for the 2 miles, 0% incline, on the treadmill, but I did not have it in me.  I should be able to go under 15 minutes, I have gone around 14 minutes.  On the treadmill, I am going out a little easy and then building, instead of what I do during a race, which is go out hard and settle into a pace.  Anyway, I was not able to go under 15 minutes.
I was pretty happy with my result.  The main thing I wanted to do was get the intensity of a race, before the actual season started, which I think I got out of this event.  I have St. Anthony's on the 29th and I always worry a little going in that I am out of shape.  Usually I have a good race at St. Anthony's, or at least a race I am happy with.  This year, I am holding off on my run intensity, doing speed work, until a little later, so that I don't peak as early, and so I don't wear myself out early.  See how that works for me.
Below are my results breakdown for the race, and below that is a table with the overall results for the OHP Indoor Triathlon.  As you can see, I finished in the middle.  My next update will be about St. Anthony's that should be pretty interesting.

500 yard swim = 7:21 (1:28/100 yards)
5 mile CompuTrainer Course Bike = 17:46 (16.9 MPH)
2 mile treadmill run = 15:23 (7:42 min/mi)
Total Time = 40:30

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

March 2012 Training Summary - I Also Did an 8K

The amount of time spent training this March was less than the average March over the course of the last 6 years.  I started feeling lethargic this month, not sure why.  During the week, I probably average about 6 hours of sleep a night, then maybe 8 or so on the weekends.  Is it bad sleep, lack of sleep, stress, or all of the above? Not sure, but I hope I start to feel less lethargic.
This month, I did the Human Race 8K in Saint Paul.  This course starts near St. Thomas and goes east on Summit, around William-Mitchell College of Law, and back west on Summit.  It is not a flat course.  I would say it is challenging.  This year it was sunny and hot, for March.  It was in the 70s.  I actually got a little sunburn. 
This would be my 3rd time at the 8K, I had previously done the 5K in 2007.  I did the 8K in 2009, 2011, and this year.  2009 was my fastest at 36:40 (7:20 min/mi pace).  Not long after this race, in 2009, I went to the doctor and found out about my bad stress fracture.  This year and last year's times are nearly identical.  In 2011 my time was 38:49 (7:49 min/mi pace) and this year was 39:11 (7:50 min/mi pace).  So, I guess I cannot complain, because I was not slower.
March was a run focus month, I got in more running than normal, but not as much as Jan, my last run focus month.  April will be a bike focus.  In April I will be doing the OHP Indoor Tri and the last weekend is the first tri of the year, St. Anthony's in FL.  A lot to look forward to in April.
My YTD data looks pretty good, I am getting plenty of swimming in.  If I keep up the distance I will come close to a record for the year.  Not that it is important to out distance myself.  My swimming does feel strong and I have a lot of confidence in it, even thought it is hard to get up at 4AM, even after doing it all these years. 
I would like to get more biking in, hopefully in May and in April, before racing really sets in.  The Tuesday Night Time Trials start in May and that should help my bike intensity work.
I have tried to hold off on running speed work until this month.  I am going to try and add some more intensity.

Comparison of March Training Data

Total Training Time Starting in 2007 and Per Month Averages

YTD and Totals Since 2007