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