Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gobble, Gobble

The best thing about Thanksgiving this year is the FOUR days off of work!  I am a walking, talking stress ball right now and cannot wait to not deal with the daily grind.  Wednesday at 5pm cannot come fast enough.

It has been 2.5 weeks since the IronStar 70.3 and I have really been enjoying the time off from a scheduled training plan.  When I am in the middle of a training plan each and everyday is attacked with an almost reckless abandon.  This is how I am wired and really do not want to change.  I like the planned workouts and like seeing the results.  BUT I am learning that when in this "Training Zone" that my body and mind really take quite a beating!

Now that I have had unstructured time it is easier to reflect back on the previous 23 weeks and assess what went right and what went wrong.  Sometimes when in the middle of a training plan it is hard to make productive adjustments due to both the mental and physical fatigue.  This is probably when having a coach would really help.  That is why downtimes are the best times to use what was learned and to apply it to the future plan.

The Stats

Here are my weekly average numbers over the course of the Fitzgerald Level 10 Half Ironman Training Program:

Avg Monthly Swim Yards:  40,013
Avg Monthly Bike Miles:  502.05
Avg Monthly Run Miles:  105.58

I look at these stats and compare them to what my training plan asked for and it is spot on.  One of the reasons to keep the numbers and review them is so you can look back and see if the reason you under performed or over performed could be answered in the logs?

The Review

To look back at my race I gained 11 minutes on my previous 70.3 swim and finished 17th out of 62 in my age group.  When I began this training program one of my concerns was that too much time was being spent in the pool.  Just by typing the results you can see that was a foolish concern.  the funny part is that sighting was extremely difficult the morning of the race due to the fog and I probably could have knocked another couple of minutes off the swim in better conditions.

I gained 22 minutes on the bike from my previous 70.3.  This is not a fair comparison because the previous race was on horrendous road conditions and a screwed up my nutrition.  That being said I finished 13th out of 62 in the AG and felt extremely strong on the bike.  It was really cold and that limited my performance in the beginning as it hurt my lungs and throat to breathe and the head wind over the last 20miles crushed my average pace.  Despite those issues I still felt ready to run when I hit transition.

I gained 34 minutes on the run from the last race.  My rank was 23 out of 62 in my AG.  I had severe cramps in my quads at a half mile into the run.  I estimate the cramps cost me close to 15 minutes overall on the run as I had to sit down on the side of the road to stretch out 3times.  Over the last couple of weeks I have spoke to quite a few veteran Triathletes to help determine why the quads locked up on me?  I did a ton of bricks in training, nutrition wasn't perfect but my electrolyte consumption was okay,  I did not push too hard on the bike as I had done the same route over 12 minutes faster a few times in training, albeit in better conditions?  So what happened?  The consensus seems to be that I ran too damn hard the first half mile off the bike and didn't let my legs get used to the transition.  I went back and reviewed the Garmin data and my first half mile was run at a 6:18 pace.  This is ridiculous to even attempt and I had a major brain fart here.  Of course my quads resisted,  I never practiced at this pace and never gave my legs the chance to adjust and the cool temperatures probably didn't help in letting the quads loosen up?  Extremely boneheaded maneuver.

Moving Forward

Taking what was learned will be applied to the upcoming Ironman training plan that begins on 12/6.  Fortunately for me I will be using the same Fitzgerald Training Program only the Full Ironman one.  I will continue to log the large amount of time in the pool that the plan asked for and try and keep a 5 to 1 ratio of bike to run miles.  The previous plan worked well because I felt great during the entire race.  It is important to notate this so when I look back again next year this will be uploaded to my mind one more time!

What I am going to do differently is practice in shitty weather conditions.  In the past if it was raining , too cold, too hot, or too windy I would take my workouts indoors to the trainer or treadmill.  Moving forward this cannot happen.  My body and mind need to be prepared for any type of conditions that race day may throw at me.  Ironman Texas is on May, 21st.  The previous May 21st recorded a temperature of 95 degrees with pea soup humidity.  A few years before that it was a high of 60 and a low of 42 - this means I need to be ready for it all and training in less than ideal conditions needs to occur more frequently.


So what am I going to do up until the Dec 6th training begins?

Well, on Thursday Annie and I are running in The Woodlands 5 mile Turkey Trot.  I am going to try for a new PR.  Here are my splits and time from last years race:

Mile 1 - 7:25
Mile 2 - 7:14
Mile 3 - 7:17
Mile 4 - 7:17
Mile 5 - 7:08

Total Time - 36:27
Then on Dec 5th Annie and I are running in the La Porte Half Marathon.  It goes over and back of this big ass suspension bridge in La Porte, TX.  It is the inaugural year for the race and I am not sure if I am going to run or race yet.

Here is the Bridge:

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and that no one gets trampled at Wal-Mart on Black Friday morning!

Thanks for Reading,



  1. Nice reflection! It is always good to visualize on paper what happened, and what fruits it bore. In your case you made a TON of lemonade this season!!!

    I am with you on the 4 days off. WELL NEEDED!

    Have fun @ the Turkey Trot! Make yourself HUNGRY!

  2. Awesome post, lots of helpful info!! I am leaning more and more towards training for a 70.3 everyday :D Good luck on your turkey trot!!! Ohh and i'm so with you on the training in questionable weather, when I was running x-c in H.S./ college I would run in anything, I've softened a bit since then and need to toughen up!

  3. Great training numbers. Have fun with your off season events. I was going to ask you if you would recommend yout training plan book, but once i read on taht you would be using again I guess that would be yes.

  4. I think it's a great idea to look back on your season and see what worked and didn't. That way you can tweak things for the next time around!
    Have fun at the Turkey trot and have a great Thanksgiving!

  5. Like the 5:1 Bike to run ratio and the time in the pool. I may bite you style...

  6. One time the weather here was horrible (rain, wrath of god, etc) and I had a bike ride on the calendar. My coach simply said to me "those who train, train in the rain."

    Now I look forward to crappy weather. Good luck racing.

  7. GOBBLE WOBBLE!!!! (My new favorite phrase)

    Cool bridge, I hate crossing bridges, they sway, and you feel like it is going to fall out from under you.

  8. BDD- "Gobble Wobble, Gobble Wobble, Gobble Wobble, Gobble Wobble, Gobble Wobble, Gobble Wobble, Gobble Wobble, Gobble Wobble, Gobble Wobble, Gobble Wobble" haha

    Awesome post! Nice reflection on your year. You are going to rock that PR in the Turkey Trot! 7:08 for the final mile last year? I'm seeing 7:08 for miles 1-4 this year!

  9. Hi Jeff,
    Good luck this weekend with your 5 mile Turkey Trot!!! You can do it!!

    I hope that you and Annie have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  10. Great training reflection! You have really nailed down what worked and what did not work. I know you are going to have great success in your upcoming IM training!

    I hope you and Annie have a fabulous Thanksgiving day!

  11. Great "look back" at your training. You did awesome! Sounds like some fun races for you and Annie, enjoy!

  12. Nice reflection and good to hear that the results validated the plan. Enjoy the holiday, the race and your 4 days off!

  13. I like your training in crappy weather strategy, have fun in the Turkey Trot....Happy Thanksgiving, going to check out that show... : )

  14. Yeah for 4 days off, I totally need that too.

    I really like the looking back on your training and a gearing up toward next season.

    Eat turkey, make sure Bailey and Ernie get a little, and have a great Turkey Day!

  15. great reflections. live and learn, live and learn....very important.

    Enjoy the time off as that training is just around the corner.

    Enjoy Thanksgiving with your family/friends.

  16. I love this refllection and analysis of your race, but also about the training that went into it.
    The quad thing makes sense.
    Still amazed you were able to pull off that run with those issues out of the gate. My quads locked with the end in sight at TCM and that was super brutal.

    Moving forward: IM Training here we come!

    also: Im sure you saw but Biggest Loser where are they now is on tonight sounds like they do a Tri and someone is not doing well....might be good

    Happy Thanksgiving

  17. Happy Thanksgiving!