Friday, December 26, 2014

Review of 2014 Goals and Thoughts about Future Goals

Above is the white board that I write my goals on every year, and the reasons for the goals, and the reasons why I race and train.

I am just going to come out and say it, this was the best year I have ever had racing. 

I had a lot of fun, and it was the fastest I have ever been.  I went under 2.5 hours in two Olympic distance races, which was one of my goals for 2014.  My goal was to do on Olympic distance under 2.5 hours, and I did two cleanly under 2.5 hours. 

I wanted to go under 48 minutes on a 10K off the bike, I went 47:56 at USAT AG Nationals.

I wanted to be faster at 40, than I was in my 30s, which I did.

I wanted to do a back-to-back race weekend.  I did :Lake Minnetonka and Manitou Sprint in the same weekend, and went much faster than I thought.  Even at Manitou sprint with a pedal I could not get into and a broken spoke at Manitou..

There were some goals I missed. 
One, I have been trying for years now, was to average 23.5MPH, or greater, for 10+ miles, either in a triathlon, duathlon, or TT.  I was unable to do this.  Even though I had one of my fastest years on the bike, in triathlons, that I have ever had.

I did not run an open 10K this year.  I wanted to run a 46:30 or faster for an open 10K. I picked 46:30 because I ran a 46:36 10K (Victory Road Races) in 2008.  I think I had a pretty good chance to do it this year.  Just didn't get an open 10k in.

I wanted to run a 5K, or 3 mile, under 21:30, either off the bike or open.  I did not run any open 5k races, and off the bike I ran a 22:32 3 mile and a 22:23 5K.  So, I was about a minute off.  As an aside, these two runs were at Lake Minnetonka and Manitou Sprint, so they were back-to-back races on the same weekend.  That has to count for something.

I will write about my goals for 2015, in another post.  I still have some thinking to do.  I will put some thoughts here.

I am registered to do St. Anthony's again.  I would like to go under 2.5 hours.  I am currently 4:40 away from that.  Since I did go under 2.5 hours in two Olympic distance races earlier in the year, I think I can do it here.  Part of it will be getting the swim in the 27-28 minute range, getting faster in transition, and running faster there.  I am going to need to go under 50 minutes.  It will be difficult to go that fast, that early in the year.

I am thinking about running an open half-marathon.  My goal would be to go under 2 hours.  Basically 9 min/mi or faster  The reason of running an open half-marathon is because I would like to do a half ironman again.  I feel I can do better than my last two attempts, which were in 2010 and were terrible.  At least the run in both was terrible.  I would like to beat out my 2008 time at Longhorn 70.3, which was 5:46 and some change.  I think, and would like to set a goal of going under 5.5 hours.  Hitting that goal will require me to go under 9 min/mi.

I am going to keep my 10 mile, 23.5MPH, bike goal.  I will keep that goal as long as I am doing this.  I will keep working towards that goal.

To that end.  I keep thinking about how long I will continue doing this.  By "this" I mean, doing triathlons, duathlons, and TTs at my current pace.  I would like to keep doing 10-12 races (mostly triathlons with a 1-3 duathlons sprinkled in) every year until I cannot do it anymore.  Lucky me, I have a wife who is understanding, and spending weekends in the summer racing doesn't cause relationship issues.  I imagine as I get older, I might have to drop the number of races.  See what life brings.

Every year, before I start racing, I think about is it worth the time and effort.  Then I start racing, and there is such a feeling of accomplishment that I get, that I cannot compare to anything.  Even when I don't race as well as I would have liked.  Sometimes I get sick of trying to workout to maintain a level of fitness that allows me to do this.  Especially in MN winters, but I realize, when I race, that the training is worth it.  I might not be the fastest person out there.  I am not the fastest person, by far.  That is not important.  What is important is that I am challenging myself, both mentally, a lot of it is mental, physically, and emotionally.
The challenge and the feeling of accomplishment keep me coming back for more.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Analysis of Run Performance - Racing and Training Since 2006

This post is a look at my run data since 2006.  Unfortunately, like the bike, I only have full run data from 2007, only results from 2006.  In 2009, as I have mentioned in the past, I had a bad stress fracture and basically did not run for 6 months of that year, and the beginning of 2010.  So, I have no data for 2009.
Since 2009, I have been hesitant to run as much or as hard as I did prior to the stress fracture.  I am sure that this is part of the reason for my slower times since 2008. 
Near the end of 2012, I have began to do my training faster, and I have done longer training workouts in 2013.  I think I am getting over my fear of re-injuring my leg.  I have been hesitant in training to go as faster or as far as I require to go faster, but that changed in 2013.
So the plan was to go longer and faster in 2013, with the hope I can improve my run speed to 2008 times, or faster results.  In 2008, I ran my fastest 5K (22:33 = 7:16min/mi), 10K (46:36 = 7:31min/mi), 2mi (12:58 = 6:29min/mi), and 8K (36:40 = 7:20min/mi), in 2009 before stopping due to stress fracture.  I have not been close to those times since then.
In 2013 I ran an open 5K at 22:06 (7:08/mi), my 8K time was 38:10 (7:41/mi), and 2 mi was 14:29 (7:15/mi).  I did not run an open 10K.  So, I was able to put together my fastest 5k in many years, and the 8K was the fastest since 2009, run with my stress fracture.

In 2014, my training was much more specific.  If you include my races, I probably spent 95% of my time on treadmill doing very specific workouts.  I made sure my runs were at least 35 minutes and attempted to stay in the 40-50 minute range. 
I did a lot of intervals work.  Examples:
10 minute warm-up then 6x(3min at 7:30/mi and 2min at 8:00/mi), then 5 min easy, then 5x (30sec at 6:45/mi and 30 sec at 8:30/mi) then 5-10 min warm down.
10 minute warm-up then 6x(2min starting at 7:30/mi and 3min at 8:30/mi) increasing speed each interval, then 5-10 min warm down.
When I did run outside, it was generally at more relaxed pace, when it wasn't a race.
I think the combination of more bike time, plus very concentrated run work,  plus being about 10 pounds lighter, helped me greatly.
I had the fastest run I have ever had at St. Anthony's. After St. Anthony's every Olympic distance race I had, there were 3, I ran all my 10k runs under 8:00/mi.  I have never, ever done that.  I had my fastest 10k off the bike, at USAT AG Nationals.  The 8k I run at the beginning of the year was my fastest since 2009. 
This year I did not have my fastest average pace, and I didn't have my fastest run (I didn't run any open 5ks), but I did have my second fastest average (tied), and my smallest range between fastest and slowest pace.  I would say this was my best year running, almost solely based on my 10k off the bike performance.
2006 is heavily weighted with open runs (11) and duathlons (5).  I have done less and less open runs since then and more and more duathlons and triathlons.  This year I did a number of open run, four trail races, and an 8k, the usual 8k.
The larger range in 2008 is due to my slow run time at Alcatraz and the 70.3 I did that year.  The large range in 2010 is due to the two half-IMs I did.  My average in 2010 is depressed due to the fact I took it easier in the first few races of the year as I came back from injury. 2011-2014 I did only Sprint and Olympic distance, so the shorter distances kept the range tighter
The data in the table and graphs is in Seconds/Mile, rather than Minutes/Mile because it is easier to graph in Excel.  Lower is better.

Most of my data is clustered around the 60 hours of running per year, which is probably and reasonable and good (safe) amount of running if I am not going to do a half-ironman or an ironman (never).  I think that in 2008, when I spent 91 hours running, was too much.  There should be an asterisk by my 2008 fastest, it was on an indoor track and it was only 1 mile.  All the other fastest pace times are 2 mile runs or longer.  I think in the end, as long as I am running nothing longer than a 10k, and I keep up my intensity, running about 60 hours a year is probably good enough for me.

Run Data Table

Comparison of Run Training Time to Average Run Race Pace

Comparison of Run Training Time to Fastest Run Race Pace

Comparison of Total Training Time to Average Run Race Pace

Comparison of Total Training Time to Fastest Race Pace

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Racing and Training Playlist Update - End of 2014 Music

I decided to update the playlist that I listen to before races and when training, mostly on the treadmill and when lifting weights.  I never bike or run outside with headphones on.  My opinion is that this dangerous.  I have updated it since I last posted the list in 2013, but I have not taken the time to post it.  Anyway, I have heard a lot of good music in 2014, and need to update the playlist, so I deleted some tracks that I had grown tired of, and added some new tracks.  Some are from 2014 releases, some are older songs I wanted to revisit.  I will probably stick with this, at least for the few months of 2015.

Star Machine - Bob Mould
Dog Days are Over - Florence + The Machine
Mind Eraser, No Chaser - Them Crooked Vultures
Warsaw - Dessa
Rope - Foo Fighters
No One Knows - Queens of the Stone Age
Bandoliers - Them Crooked Vultures
 Something From Nothing - Foo Fighters
 Digital Witness - St. Vincent
Gander Back - Doomtree
 Dead End Friends - Them Crooked Vultures
There's No Secrets This Year - Silversun Pickups
Team the Best Team - Doomtree
Tall Boy - Har Mar Superstar
Champions of Red Wine - New Pornographers
Scumbag Blues - Them Crooked Vultures
All the Rage Back Home - Interpol
Infinity Guitars - Sleigh Bells
Everywhere - Ex Hex
In the Clear - Foo Fighters
Silver Age - Bob Mould
Automatic System Habit - Garbage
Three Women - Jack White
 Evil - Interpol
 Gunman - Them Crooked Vultures
 No One Loves Me & Neither Do I - Them Crooked Vultures
 The Descent - Bob Mould
Metal Heart - Garbage
Celebrity Skin - Hole
Crush - Sleigh Bells

Friday, December 12, 2014

November 2014 Racing and Training Summary

November and December are usually months were I am training\working out to maintain some level of fitness, before going to January where I will try to ramp up training.  This November was basically an attempt to maintain. 

I did stop running for over 2 weeks.  Then I started up and think I over did it.  Not in terms of speed, I made sure to go slow, but time.  I probably should have got back in a little slower.  I was pretty sore after the third run of the week.  I took about a week off of biking and a week off of swimming.  I felt pretty good most of the month.  Some of the usual November workout blahs.  All the time I put in was above average.  Down a little from last year. 

Not much else to say about November.  Probably similar for December.  I would like to get in a little more bike in December.  I will cross over 100 hours on the bike in December.  This year will be the first year since 2011 that I have put in over 100 hours on the bike.  I think it paid off this year.

Comparison of Novembers from Year-to-Year

Totals and Averages Since 2007


Year-to-Date and Totals Since 2007


Friday, November 28, 2014

Analysis of Bike Performance - Comparison of Racing and Training Since 2006

This is the second of three posts were I will compare my training to my race performance.  I previously posted my swim analysis.

I have compiled my bike data since 2007, to look at my performance compared to my training time.  I have results for 2006, but no training data.  I did not start tracking training data until 2007, which is unfortunate, since it would be nice to have training data from the start to compare performance data from the start.

I compiled all the bike speed data (TT, triathlon, and duathlon) and put that in a table with bike training time data and total training time data.  The table and all charts below are data from October to October, except 2007 which is Jan-Sept, since I have no data from 2006.  At the end of the year I put out my calendar year training data.
Click on the table enlarge. 

Bike Data Table

My slowest bike speed for any given year does not vary much from year-to-year, until 2014. Slowest time, 2008, was from Escape from Alcatraz, very steep, hilly course. Also, I was probably doing too much sight-seeing while riding. In reality, my bike data does not vary much from 2010 to 2013.
In 2006, my average bike speed is about 19MPH. I basically flattened out after 2008, averaging about 21.5MPH.  After my injury in 2009, I also stopped paying for a coach in that year, I have not shown much improvement since then, until 2014.  I improved from 2006 to 2008. During that time the volume and intensity went up dramatically.

 If you look at the data, I can train about 90+hours over the 12 month period, at the effort I am putting in, and stay consistent.  The three years that I trained, and raced, the most 2008, 2010, and 2011, I had the fastest bike.  2008 had less bike than the other two, but it had a lot more running and swimming. From Oct 2013 to Oct 2014, I put in over a 100 hours on the bike, the most I have put in since 2011.  It was my goal to put over 10 hours of bike training in a month from January through May of 2014.  I was able to average over 10 hours a month through that time period, Jan-March were over 10 hours and April and May were a little under 10 hours.  I was spending it at home on the trainer or at spin classes.  It appears to have paid off.  I had my highest average speed since 2008, I had my highest average triathlon speed, my fastest slowest speed, and one of my smallest ranges, except 2008, that I have ever had.

Interesting to note, in 2006 I was riding a Lemond Sarthe road bike with clip-on aero bars and no race wheels.  Starting in 2007, I raced with a tri-bike and race wheels.  Also, 2006 is duathlons and TTs, no triathlons.

I still am not able to get over the 23MPH "hump".  My goal was to average 23.5MPH over a 10+mile course, either triathlon, duathlon, or TT.  It has been my goal for a number of years.  There are three years I have gone over 23MPH, 2008, 2010, and 2011.  2010 and 2011 are two years where spent the most time on the bike.  Related?  They are also two years I raced, especially 2010, a lot.  

Select any of the tables below to enlarge.

Total Bike Training Time Compared to Average Bike Race Speed

Total Bike Training Time Compared to Fastest Bike Speed

Total Training Time Compared to Average Bike Race Speed

Total Training Time Compared to Fastest Bike Speed

The outlier at the bottom of each plot, low average and fastest, even with high bike and training time, is the year I had a stress fracture and don't have many data points to contribute.  Also, a lot of biking was easy, even though there was a lot of time on the bike.
When comparing my total training time, or bike training time, to average or fastest, the data points trend the same.  So, no real correlation between the two, or they are directly correlated, but there does not appear to be a negative correlation between my total training time and bike speed.
I think that I have shown with my ramp up in time and intensity, that I can get a bike improvement.  After a number of years where I have been flat, the bump up this year showed improvement.
As long as I am doing only Duathlons, Sprint triathlons, and Olympic distance triathlons I can stick to the 70-100 hours.  If I do a 70.3, or longer (IM not going to happen), I would need to increase my training time.  If I decide I am going to do a 70.3, I am going to have to increase bike time and intensity, the same for run (of course) well above 100 hours.
In 2015, I would like to keep about the same amount of time, averaging over 10 hours from Jan - May, but keep a higher intensity.  If I decided to do a 70.3 in 2015, I think I need to look at averaging over 12 hours a month, and I would have to maintain that up to the month before the 70.3.
If I would like to be competitive (not sure how realistic that is) in my AG, and into the 44-49 AG, I am going to have to keep working on the bike.  It seems that guys between 40-49 are pretty fast on the bike.  As always, the trick if finding balance between all three.
As the two sayings I have heard many times go "You have to train faster to race faster" and "The only way to get faster on the bike is to spend more time on the bike" appear to hold true, yet again.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Analysis of Swim Performance Since 2006 - Comparison of Training to Race Results

I (re)started swimming in 2007, after not swimming since high school. I did duathlons in 2006 and then decided to try triathlons in 2007, so I started swimming in March 2007. 

I hired a coach in 2008 and he planned swim workouts that I did on my own, typically 3 days a week. I started Masters in early 2009, typically 3 days a week.  You can see significant yardage jumps from 2007 to 2008, and I have more or less maintained that yardage since then.  Something of a spike in 2009 and 2010, when I swam more due to my stress fracture.  2011 to 2014 has been pretty much the same yardage in the Oct-Oct time frame, with a spike in 2014 from the previous years.

In 2013, I continue to swim in the same pool I have swam in since 2009, but with a new Master's coach.  In 2014, I continued in the same pool with the same coach.  I would say the new program I am swimming under, since 2013, is much more focused on technique,  but even more on kicking, and speed work.  I think it is starting to show.

I have shown improvement with time, but more or less flattened out, until this year.  Since the swim distance on swim courses is somewhat suspect, it is hard to determine really how fast you are going.  The only true test of improvement and how fast you are is in the pool, with a certified distance and controlled conditions.  Some of the swims in triathlons have the timing mat immediately out of the water, some you have a decent run up before you get to it, so that is added into your time. 
I do know that when I started in 2006, it was 2+ minutes for 100s in a set.  Now I am more in the area of 1:20-1:30, sometimes faster.

Below is the data table.  The table in the charts are data from October to October.  My times in the table and the charts are in seconds/100yards because it is easier to plot.  The unusually fast time in 2011 is the Twin Cities Triathlon swim in the Mississippi.  In 2009, I only did two races, the reason for the narrow range, one was a relay triathlon and one was a sprint triathlon, where I walked the run.
There is a huge jump in yardage and time as I go from swimming on my own, to getting coached workouts, to going to Masters, and my race pace improves, and then my pace flattens out.  Basically, my average pace is flat from 2010 to 2014.  I know, for sure, I have gotten faster in the pool over the last few years, especially the last couple of years..  It had not translated to my open water swimming until this year.  This year not only do I think I trained harder, not doing more yardage but tougher practice, but I was more aggressive in races.  I think that helped a lot.

All the data plotted\charted below goes from the previous Oct-Dec through Jan-Oct of the year.
Since pace is plotted in secs/100 yards, the lower the better.  Oct-Dec of 2013, I swam more than I had in the previous couple of "offseason" time periods.  I actually swam less Jan-Sept of this year than I did in 2013, actually it was my lowest average yardage for this time period since 2008.  Again, I would argue I swam a bit harder this year, both in races and in practice.  I think another thing that I did this year that helped me to race faster, overall, was timing my rest before races much better, and doing my recovery much better.  My understanding is that I will need to do this better, and more often, as I get older.  Sigh.  It is interesting to note that the range between my fastest and slowest pace is much narrower than any previous year, except the year where I only swim twice (that doesn't count).  Looking at the data plotted, I often wonder where diminishing returns occurs with swim time and yardage.  I have such a clump of data on the right side, and then the one data point on the left side, and that one data point represents a time when I was less fit.  I am sure I could knock off 10 hours or so a year, and be ok.  Decreasing time\yardage during the season, more rest\recovery, would probably be the best.

In the 2015 season, I would like to remain about where I was in 2014, in terms of time and yardage.  I am not sure I will have the time to devote to more swimming.  Based on my non-scientific data, but a number of years of experience, I think there is a point where you hit a certain number of yards per year, time in the pool, that is sufficient for whatever type of race you are doing.  Then it comes down to how you spend that time, improving stroke and speed.  I think when you are starting out, first you need to build up to a certain number of yards and maintain those yards, and condition yourself, get comfortable swimming, and then you start to develop more overall speed.

I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times, and I will say it again.  As a beginning triathlete, the best thing you can do is swim a lot and get conditioned in the swim.  I have heard/seen, so many beginning triathletes say they will just "get through the swim", barely do any swim training, do all bike and run, and then get to race day and have a bad/horrible swim, and up having the rest of the race be difficult because of it.  When the swim is comfortable, in the sense you can do it and it is not stressful, and you are conditioned for it, the whole race is "easier".  This year I had my fastest year in triathlon, and my fastest swims, there is probably some relation between the two.

Swim Data Table

Comparison of Total Hours Swam to Average Triathlon Swim Pace


Comparison of Total Yards Swam to Average Triathlon Swim Pace

Comparison of Total Time Training to Average Triathlon Swim Pace

Comparison of Total Hours Swam to Fastest Race Pace

Comparison of Total Yards Swam to Fastest Race Pace

Saturday, November 15, 2014

October 2014 Racing and Training Summary

October was a little odd, because the Dousman Duathlon was moved from the middle of September to the beginning of October, which changed my training a little.  As I noted in a previous post, that race was difficult (cold and wet), but rewarding (first AG podium (1st place) in a duathlon). 

Also, I did the final two Salomon Trail Races of the year.  These were a little disappointing.  Last year I got progressively faster each race on a difficult course.  This year there were two different courses, first two races on a longer, more difficult, course.  Second two on a shorter, and what I thought, was an easier course.  The second time on each course I was faster than the first, but I was slower, pace wise, on the shorter course.  I was hoping to be faster.  Maybe just getting fatigued at the end of the season?
Below are results for all four races:
9/3 - 4.18 miles = 36:00  (8:37/mi)
9/17 - 4.18 miles = 34:11 (8:11/mi)
10/1 - 3.5 miles = 28:52 (8:14/mi)
10/15 - 3.5 miles = 28:34 (8:10/mi)

I was a little bit above average for the bike and run in October.  I am trying to keep my bike time up a little bit, so that when I go to increase my time, in Dec or Jan, it isn't such a shock to my system.  Backed off on the swim a little bit.  Getting up early to swim is getting harder and harder every year, especially when the weather is cold and the season is over.  I imagine my swim time will be down  in November and December.  The good thing is, if I back off on swimming a little bit, and then ramp back up, my speed (what passes for speed) usually comes back pretty fast.  It is not like running or biking that seem to take longer when you take time off, especially running.  Currently, I am taking the first two weeks, or so, of November, off of running.  I will try to ease back into it.  I think my body needs a little break from running.
Below are the usual tables, comparison of Octobers, YTD,  and totals and averages since 2007.

Comparison of Octobers from Year-to-Year

Totals Since 2007 and Averages

YTD Totals and Since 2007


Thursday, November 6, 2014

2014 Triathlon Summary and Review of Years Past (Charts and Tables!)

My triathlon season is over.  It has been almost two months now.  Time to take a look back on this year and do a little comparison to years past.

This was the fastest year I have ever had.  Ever. Fastest year by far. The charts below show it graphically.

Normally, I would name my best race of the year, in terms of feeling good and going fast, but it is hard to do, because I had so many races that felt good and I went fast, fast for me.  St. Anthony's was a PR, by over 5 minutes, and qualified me for USAT AG Nationals.  It was my first time doing Buffalo Olympic and I had a much better race, especially the run, than I thought I would have.  Lake Minnetonka was a PR.  Manitou Sprint was a PR on a broken spoke and a I could not get my left foot in my pedal. Lake Waconia was not a PR, but it was my fastest time there in years and my second fastest time ever. Heart of the Lakes was a PR.  USAT AG Nationals was my first time going under two and a half hours in an Olympic distance race, it was my fastest 10k in a race, it was great day, and a great race. Maple Grove was also a PR, and a great run.  The only two races that weren't that great, but still really good were Graniteman-Clearwater, bad run, but first out of the water and very good bike, and Lake Marion, another not-so-great run.

All my results for 2014 triathlons are below.  Click on table to enlarge

2014 Triathlon Results

2014 Average Swim Distance and Average Pace = 1129.4 yards and 1:34/100 yards
2014 Average T1 Time = 2:45
2014 Average Bike Distance and Average Bike Speed = 20.01 miles and 21.99MPH
2014 Average T2 Time = 1:18
2014 Average Run Distance and Average Pace = 4.64 miles and 7:54/mi
2014 Average Triathlon Distance and Average Pace (=Total Dist/Total Time) = 25.28 miles and 4:27/mi 
2014 Average Overall Place and Average AG Place = 212 of 693 for overall and 28 of 62 for AG

All the paces\speed above are my fastest averages I have ever had.

Below are charts that compare my average speed/pace/time for each area of triathlon by year.  Below the charts is a table that contains all the data.  The times are averages of my Sprint and Olympic distance races, no half-im distances are included.
Basically, I got faster after 2007, then I missed 2009 with injury, improved a bit in 2010, then kind of leveled off, and in some cases got slower, like the run, and now I have gotten faster again in 2014.
My increase in performance from 2007 to 2008 was probably due to the large increase in training time, coaching, and weight loss.
I think getting better this year was due to losing about 10 pounds, after not losing weight (basically flat) for a few years, focusing on the bike earlier in the year (started increase time and intensity in December), and doing more speed interval workout, for longer time periods, for the run.

Comparison of Average Swim Pace (Lower is Better)

Comparison of Average Bike Speed (Higher is Better)

Comparison of Average Run Pace (Lower is Better)

Comparison of Average T1 and T2 (Lower is Better)

Comparison of Average Pace (Total Race Time Divided by Total Race Distance, Lower is Better)

I have basically been flat year over year, since my injury in 2009.  This makes sense, because my training has basically been flat, see below where I list the total time and time spent on each by year.  By flat I mean, I am putting nearly the same amount of time and effort, so why would I get better. 
This year, things dramatically improved.  My average swim improved by ~10 seconds per 100 yards and is my fastest average, my average bike is the more than half a mile per hour faster than last year and my fastest average, and my run average is almost 20 seconds faster than last year and my fastest average.  
The time I spend in the pool is down, but I am swimming faster, and more, at Masters.  My total bike time was 17 hours greater than either of the last two years and the most since 2011.  My run time was about the same as the last two years, but I was much more focused on speed work, rather than just getting run time in.  I think the combination of getting more bike time in and very specific speed work with the run helped greatly.  Table includes averages and standard deviation.
Below is the time spent swimming, biking, running, in hours, each year up from January through September of that year.  Parenthesis is order of time spent swim, bike, run.
Total Time 2007 = 95 hours (27, 31, 37)
Total Time 2008 = 253.5 hours (80, 89.5, 84 )
Total Time 2009 = 201 hours (93, 83, 25)
Total Time 2010 = 236.5 hours (89.5, 106, 41)
Total Time 2011 = 228.5 hours (78, 102.5, 48)
Total Time 2012 = 189 hours (77, 69, 43)
Total Time 2013 = 188.5 hours (77, 68, 43.5)
Total Time 2014 = 198.5 hours (69.8, 85.3, 43.4)

My time spent (Jan - Sept) in 2013 and 2013 are almost identical, with a total of 10 more hours spent this year.  I definitely put in more running effort, harder run workouts, this year than last year.  My time spent on the bike went up dramatically this year over 2012 and 2013.  I really, really need to fix the amount of time I spent on the bike, I did that and my bike improved, along with my run.  Bike time in 2010 was so high because I did two half-IMs.  What is not seen here is the time I spent on the bike in December of 2013, which I think helped my bike a lot.
Later this year, or early next year, I will have a few posts that compare my workout time, total and each discipline, to my performance.  I have put similar posts up in previous years.  That data is for Oct-Oct, and it is usually pretty revealing. 
There are a lot of other factors besides training time, weight, nutrition, race conditions, etc. but I think this is one way, more quantifiable than some of the others, to look at performance.
I don't yet have a plan for next year.  My hope would be to increase my bike time, and intensity, and to do a little more distance running.  There is a part of me that wants to do a half-IM in 2015, to do that I am going to have to increase my bike and run time.
I don't think I can emphasize enough how happy I am with how well I did this year.  It is so fulfilling to put in a lot of work, and see improvement.  Measureable improvement.  It doesn't always happen in life.  I think it is even more rewarding because it is happening as I get older, and in my 40th year.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

2014 Transition Pictures (12 Races)

At the end of the season, at least for the last few season, I have put up a post of my transition pictures.
I do it without comment, just pictures from each transition.  Here are the pictures from this year, 10 triathlons and 2 duathlons.

St. Anthony's Triathlon (Olympic)

Gear West Duathlon

Buffalo Triathlon (Olympic)

Lake Minnetonka Triathlon

Manitou Sprint Triathlon

Lake Waconia Triathlon

Graniteman Clearlake Triathlon

Heart of the Lakes Triathlon (Long)

USAT Age Group Nationals (Olympic)

Lake Marion Sprint Triathlon

Maple Grove Triathlon (Olympic)

Dousman Duathlon

Saturday, October 18, 2014

2014 Dousman Duathlon Race Report

I have done this race all 9 years of its existence, 8 individual and 1 relay.  This was not my fastest year, but it turned out to be my best finish.  As I, and others, have said, it all depends on who shows up.

This was the toughest weather I have ever had to race.  It was in the mid 30s and windy, it did not rain, but there was a certain amount of dampness in the air.  In previous years it had been cold, but never this cold.  In previous years it had rained, but had not been this cold.  Last year it rained, but it wasn't as cold.  I thought I was cold last year, I was cold this year.

Aside from the cold, it was a typical morning.  I got up at about 3:45AM, showered, ate breakfast, and drove the hour plus to Dousman.  When I got there it was dark.  Did I mention the cold?
I wore my one piece Gear West tri suit, with a tight long sleeve shirt underneath and Pearl Izumi full length bike pants underneath.  I wore Gore-Tex bike gloves and a Gore-Tex hat.  I wore the gloves and hat the whole race.

The wave starts for this race are mixed, male and female and different ages, so you don't know where you are in your AG.  Not that it matters that much, since I am typically not competitive, especially in Duathlons.

Before the race start, they asked who was doing the race for the first time, and about 70% of the crowd raised their hand.  Then they asked who had done the race all 9 years, I think about four of us raised our hands.

The main street was being repaved, so it was all torn up, and mostly hard packed dirt, rock, and some potholes.  So running that part of the race was a little different than usual.  There was no sidewalk to run on, that was torn up too.  We only have to run about 3-4 blocks on the main street, but we still need to be aware of the surface.

I went out pretty fast and it showed. It was my fastest first run here since 2011.  Still not able to get under that 7min/mi mark.  The cold did not affect me too bad on the run.  I didn't have a burning in my chest or anything.

This bike course is not easy.  It has some short steep, very steep, climbs and some decent uphill false flats.  I hit the first short steep hill and my legs felt like lead, that was pretty much the case for each of the short steep hills.  I had to go into a gear I normally would not have had to use.  The cold and wind, were pretty brutal.  I did not feel too bad on the flats, or on false flats, but the short steep ones were killers.  My feet started to get numb with about 8 miles left on the bike.  That was not a good sign.

I got off the bike and started the second run and I could not feel my feet or my legs.  Running out of the park on the grass felt very awkward.  The whole run felt kind of awkward.  I don't think I ever really got the feeling back in my feet. Amazingly, the second run was my fastest second run since 2008!

I started in the fourth wave, about 150 people started ahead of me, so there was some waiting to see results.  They did have hot oatmeal and hot French toast sticks, and free coffee, so that helped, but after about 20 minutes standing outside I was shivering.  I put more clothes on and was still cold.  My gloves were soaked with sweat and useless, wearing them made my hands colder.  Eventually, the results came, and I saw, to my surprise, I was first in my AG.  I would not have guessed that.
Even though it wasn't my fastest time, mostly because of the bike split, partly because of the weather, I can't think of a better way to end the fastest (best?) season of racing that I have ever had.
It was a very challenging last race, and I was able to get through it very well.  All the training I have done this year paid off.   
Hopefully, I can come back for year 10.

2014 Dousman Duathlon Results
Run (2 mi) - 14:15 (7:08/mi)
T1 - 1:09
Bike (20.5 mi) - 1:00:49 (20.1 MPH)
T2 - 1:00
Run (2 mi) - 14:55 (7:28/mi)
Total - 1:32:08
Overall - 14/223
AG - 1/16
Pace - 3:46/mi

2013 Dousman Duathlon Results
Run (2 mi) - 14:29 (7:15/mi)
T1 - 1:21
Bike (20.5 mi) - 58:11 (21 MPH)
T2 - 0:57
Run (2 mi) - 15:12 (7:41/mi)
Total - 1:30:09
Overall - 34/311
AG - 5/20
Pace - 3:41/mi

2012 Dousman Duathlon Results
Run (2 mi) - 14:45 (7:22/mi), estimated based on total time
T1 - 2:04, estimated based on total time, seems high.......
Bike (21 mi) - 58:08 (21.7MPH) fastest in a Du
T2 - 0:37.5
Run (2 mi) - 15:23 (7:42/mi)
Total - 1:30:58
Overall - 90/578
AG - 14/42
Pace - 3:38/mi

2011 Dousman Duathlon Results
Run (2 mi) - 14:02 (7:01/mi)
T1 - 1:01
Bike (21 mi) - 58:44 (21.5MPH)
T2 - 0:42
Run (2 mi) - 15:05 (7:33/mi)
Total - 1:29:31
Overall - 47/601
AG - 7/40
Pace - 3:35/mi
2010 Dousman Duathlon Results
Run (2 mi) - 13:59 (7:00/mi)
T1 - 1:25
Bike (21 mi) - 57:53 (21.8MPH)
T2 - 1:14
Run (2 mi) - 15:01 (7:30/mi)
Total - 1:29:30
Overall - 85/792
AG - 15/62
Pace - 3:35/mi

2009 Dousman Duathlon Results
Did it as a relay.  I was coming off stress fracture. Jackie ran and I biked

2008 Dousman Duathlon Results
Run (2 mi) - 12:58 (6:29/mi), fastest run in a Du
T1 - 1:25
Bike (20 mi) - 57:17 (20.9MPH), one mile shorter bike than 09-12
T2 - 0:55
Run (2 mi) - 14:06 (7:03/mi), fastest second run
Total - 1:26:39
Overall - 32/614
AG - 5/54
Pace - 3:37/mi

2007 Dousman Duathlon Results
Run (2 mi) - 13:20 (6:40/mi)
T1 - 1:19
Bike (20 mi) - 1:01:50 (19.7MPH), one mile shorter bike than 09-12
T2 - 1:17
Run (2 mi) - 14:40 (7:20/mi)
Total - 1:32:26
Overall - 111/797
AG - 21/55
Pace - 3:51/mi

2006 Dousman Duathlon Results
Run (2 mi) - 15:12 (7:36/mi)
T1 - 1:48
Bike (20 mi) - 1:07:48 (17.7MPH), one mile shorter bike than 09-12
T2 - 1:44
Run (2 mi) - 16:28 (8:14/mi)
Total - 1:43:00
Overall - 238/254
AG - 13/24 (Clydesdale)
Pace - 4:17/mi

Friday, October 3, 2014

September 2014 Racing and Training Summary

No triathlons or duathlons in September, but the Salomon Autumn Trail Series did start, so there were two of those.  As always, those were painful.  New course, new starting point, from last year.  First two are 4.2 miles, second two are 5.5km (about 3.6 miles). 

The new course starts hilly, has a flat run through a prairie area for a short bit, and then finishes hilly at the end.  Maybe a little easier than last year's course.  Maybe.  Still hurts.  I contend it is more painful than Tuesday Night Time Trials.  Below are my results for the two nights in September.

9/3/2014 - 4.2 miles = 36:00 (8:37/mi)
9/17/2014 - 4.2 miles = 34:11 (8:11/mi)

I attribute my almost 2 minute improvement to running the first mile slower in the second race.  Same as last year.  I went out a little fast in the first one, and burned out in the end.  The second race I ran the first mile about 30 seconds slower.  Also, my friend Matt ran the second race with me and I think that was helpful.

On the Wednesday that there has not been a trail race, I have been doing a 40ish minute "hill" workout on the treadmill in an attempt to simulate the trail race.  Basically, I increase my incline every minute up to about 5% or 6% and then go back down to 1% or 0%, and I adjust my speed so that I am going fast, for me, but so I don't burn myself out.

I did a lot of running this month.  The last time I ran over 6 hours in a month was April of this year, and before that was July of 2013.  The last time I ran over 6 hours in a September was 2012.  My time on the bike has been slowly declining over the last few months, which is to be expected since time trials are done and racing is almost done.  Last race is Oct 4, Dousman Duathlon.  Swim is also down, but that is expected when the triathlon season is over.  I have started with weights again, and have put in over an hour in September.  Since I am starting up with weights, after taking about 6 months off, the amount I am lifting is low and I am doing reps of either 3x15 or 4x10 or 4x15, depending on how I feel.  Most strength work has been legs and abs, a little bit of arms.

Compared to previous years, this September has more hours than the last two years, and nearly as much as 2011.

I have already surpassed my total bike time from last year, I will surpass my total bike time from 2012.  I think might get to about the same amount of run time as last year.  I have said it before, and I will say it again, I think putting that extra bike time has helped me a lot, especially early in the year.

I have a trail run on Oct 1 and Oct 15, and Dousman duathlon on Oct 4th.  I will have to continue with some solid run workouts until after mid-Oct.  I will probably not swim that much, maybe average once a week or so through November\December.  Probably cut down on the bike time until December, and I will try to ramp up the weight lifting.

Year-to-Year September Comparison

Totals and Averages Since 2007

YTD Totals and Totals Since 2007