Saturday, January 31, 2009

140 Days and Counting...

-Breakfast: Blueberry bagel with cream cheese, 2 cups of coffee.

-Lunch: Large bowl of Granola with blueberries and reaspberries.

-Dinner: Ham sandwich on wheat bread, with pepper jack cheese and jalepeno mustard, handful of potato chips.

-Snacks: 1 bottle of vitamin water, 2 packages of fruit snacks, chocolate truffel, 12oz blueberry pomegranate juice, 20oz cranberry juice.

Training, with heart rate monitor data:

47 Minutes on the bike, RPE 3, all small ring, 30 minutes aero.

Minimum HR 88, Maximum HR 159, Average HR 122.

Immediate transition to run, 30 minutes on the treadmill, 6.5 mph.

Minimum HR 104, Maximum HR 171, average HR 160. HR seemed high, but I was very comfortable. Guess that means I was taking it too easy on the bike!

Quick post today, not feeling all that philosophical! Off to my buddy Mike's house to watch the Utah Jazz beat the tar out of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Friday, January 30, 2009

141 Days and Counting...

-Breakfast: 1 Granola Bar, 2 cups of Coffee

-Lunch: Cup of Ramen Noodles

-Dinner: 7 Slices of mushroom, green pepper, and sausage pizza.

-Snacks: 2 packages of fruit snacks, 2 packets of instant oatmeal, one bottle of vitamin water, and handful of goldfish crackers.

Training: 60 minutes on bike/trainer, RPE 6. 45 minutes in aero.

Random post today... Thought I would share that one of my best friends in all the world is also getting the "training" bug. He has shown a lot of committment in getting in his treadmill time, and working off all his holiday treats.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

142 Days and Counting...

-Breakfast: Blueberry Bagel with Cream Cheese, 2 cups coffee.
-Lunch: Large bowl of granola with raspberries and blueberries, skim milk.
-Dinner: Can of chicken noodle soup with veggies, and a grilled cheese sandwich. In honor of my good friend Todd, I put bacon on my grilled cheese sandwich. Awesome.
-Snacks: 1 bottle of vitamin water, 2 chocolate truffles, handful of potato chips, 1 package of fruit snacks, handful of smoked almonds.

Training: 60 minutes on the treadmill, at 6.5 mph. 16 oz Gatorade (100 calories), 3 pina colada shot blox (100 calories).

If you have stayed with me for this long, and are not bored to tears yet, I'll explain a little bit why you will see essentially the same 3 items being consumed during training. Seriously, this should bore you to tears.

Pina colada shot blocks, gatorade, and eventurally, tri-berry flavored gu are pretty much all that I will use as fuel during training, for several reasons.

-First, they taste good.
-Second, they sit well in my stomach, and I tend to absorb them quickly.
-Gatorade is available on the Ironman race course; orange flavored for the bike, lemon lime flavored for the run (aid stations are about every 15 miles on the bike, and every mile on the run).

During an IM race (per a nutrition article posted a few days ago) I'll burn about 8500 calories. My body will store about 1800 calories worth of glycogen as fuel. If I want to continue racing after those 1800 are used up, I have to consume calories throughout the race. This becomes the basis for my nutrition strategy; what am I going to eat, how much, and how often.

That leads us back to the reasons above... I am getting my body used to fueling/hydrating with the sports drink available on the course, and digesting foods that taste good and sit well, even during sustained levels of activity.

I think this is one of the really appealing aspects of this whole process to me. Nutrition isn't a philosophical discussion on religion or morals. This is math. It is an exact science that doesn't allow for interpretation. You either got the equation right, or wrong. And since solving the equation technically has started 147 days in advance of the test... Well, that is the cool part.

You just can't fake it. I like that.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

143 Days and Counting...

-Breakfast: Blueberry Bagel with Cream Cheese, 2 cups of coffee.
-Lunch: Can of Chicken and Sausage gumbo and handful of goldfish crackers.
-Large helping of Lasagna.
-Snacks: 2 packets instant oatmeal, handful of potato chips, 1 bottle vitamin water, one dish of fruit sherbert.

Training: 60 minutes on the bike and trainer; all small ring, 45 minutes on aero bars. RPE 5. 20oz. of Gatorade.

Then, took a 15 minute break for lasagna (yes, faithful reader, I took a 15 minute break for lasagna).

-After lasagna, got on the treadmill and did a nice easy recovery run, 10 minutes at 6mph (so, exactly one mile for all the math fans out there). RPE 4. Then, I cleaned up the 2nd hand lasagna off my shirt (lasagna is NOT good endurance fuel. But it makes for tasty burps).

So a question I have gotten on a pretty regular basis on the training I've done in the past, is "Why do you usually run after you ride your bike?" Well, to answer that, I'd like to tell a story about the first time I tried to jog after a 12 mile ride on the bike. I tripped and fell. On my face. Oh, and my legs cramped up. It was awesome.

Riding a bike and running require radically different things from the leg muscles (pedaling in circles versus supporting your body weight). Cycling tends to tighten up my hamstrings and calfs, while running tends to stretch them out. Add on top of that quads that have pushed/pulled on the pedals for 112 miles, and legs do funny things when you try to run on them! So, I make the effort to always go for at least a short jog every time I get off the bike; that way my legs get used to the transition. Then, on race day, they are able to easily do exactly what they've done hundreds of times in training. For an interesting article (which waters down the science behind the transition for us mere mortals), see this link.

In addition to the Brick workouts (bike/run/ick), I tend to try and get as much time on my aerobars as I can early in training. That is a personal thing, as I just don't seem to get that comfortable on the bike in general, and the aero position is tough to hold. Thus, trying to get used to it early, so it is a non-issue on race day.
For those wondering "What the heck are aero bars?" See the picture above... This handlebar configuration takes the place of traditional curved handlebars that you probably had on your 10-speed bike as a kid; they allow the rider to tuck into a more aerodynamic position for less resistance on the ride. Lots of people (me included) find it more comfortable (and WAY less expensive!) to purchase clip-on aero bars for their current handlebars, offering the "comfort" and flexibility of both.
That's all for today... Thanks for reading, see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

144 Days and Counting...

I know all of you (okay, both of us) are DYING to know what I ate yesterday. Here are the dirty details.
-Breakfast: Large bowl of granola with blueberries and raspberries, skim milk, 2 cups of coffee.
-Lunch: Blueberry bagel with whipped cream cheese.
-Dinner:2 packets of instant oatmeal.
-Snacks: 1 bottle vitamin water, 2 packets of fruit snacks, 2 glasses blueberry pomegranate juice, 2 large handfuls of smoked almonds, handful of potatoe chips, 3 slices of pepper jack cheese, one chocolate truffel.

Training: NONE!!! Monday was a rest day!

No, I am not being lazy, rest days are important.... I've gone about 6 days straight with training, and a day every week or so is really necessary to let your body heal. Given time to repair the damage froma long week of training, your body bounces back stronger, with improved endurance. All part of the strategy! We'll be back on the move tomorrow....

But to be completely honest, I didn't go 100% without training on Monday. I went to my first baby birthing class, where I "trained" how to swaddle our soon-to-be-born baby! Awesome.

Life is good, people.

Monday, January 26, 2009

145 Days and Counting...

In order to stay organized (and keep as many faithful readers as possible, haha) I am going to try and follow my pattern, of posting yesterday's information today. So, for Sunday:

-Swim: 42 minutes continuous, RPE 6 (this comes out to about 2400 meters). Ate 3 Pina Colada Shot Blox before swim, and 3 after (200 calories total).

-Breakfast: Whole wheat bagel with peanut butter, two cups of coffee.
-Lunch: Chips and salsa, and wheat thins with pepper jack cheese.
-Penne Pasta with tomatoe based sauce, and italian sausage, 2 glasses of wine.
-Snacks: 2 bottles of vitamin water, 1 package of fruit snacks, handfull of dried apricots, 12oz. blueberry pomegranate juice.

So in this post, I confess that of the three disciplines, I LOVE the swimming. I think it was because in the beginning, it was the hardest. I was super lucky, and my folks put me in swim lessons as a kid, so I've always been comfortable in the water, but that is different from competition swimming. I was REALLY nervous about it prior to IM CDA in 2007, so spent a ton of time in the pool. It has paid off, and so I continue to enjoy my time in the water the most.

The training plan I use does consist of lots of swimming drills, but you'll see me tweak those workouts a little bit; I prefer what my friend Mike calls LSD: LONG SLOW DISTANCE. Plus, I recently read an article in Triathlete Magazine (shameless trend follower that I am!) about the need for drills becoming significantly less important when you reach a threshold of swimming 100 meeters (4 lenghts of the pool) in 1 minute 50 seconds or less; that is the point of quickly diminishing returns.

Sunday, I measured my first 100, middle 100, and last 100. They were, respectively, 1:36, 1:48, and 1:40. Oddly, I tend to slow down a bit in the middle with "heavy arms." I've found that some calories before I start get me through this "sluggish" phase pretty quick, and I finish strong.

But this workout is my longest continuous swim since IM Lake Placid in July, so it is a huge confidence booster; the race disatance is 2.4 miles, which equates to roughly 3900 meters. So early in the game, I feel good about the fitness level. For some multimedia entertainment, I am including a couple links to youtube videos of the IM Lake Placid's swim start from this past July (I am the one in the blue swim cap and black wetsuit). It gives me chills everytime I see it!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

146 days and counting...

Good morning!

Saturday was a pretty good day, and the legs are feeling great after another brick workout

(bike + run + ICK = Brick).

-Bike, 60 minutes, indoor trainer, all small ring, RPE4. 20 ounces water.

-Immediate transition to run, 30 minutes on the treadmill, 6.7 mph, RPE 4-5. 12 ounces gatorade (75 calories).

-Breakfast: Whole wheat bagel with peanut butter, 2 cups of coffee.

-Lunch: Large bowl of Granola with blueberries and raspberries, skim milk.

-Dinner: One Can of soup, Chicken and sausage gumbo, handful of goldfish crackers.

-Snacks: Double Cheeseburger from McDonald's and small fries (I know, couldn't resist), one chocolate truffle from See's candy (we always have a box in the house!), two bottles of Vitamin Water.

Looking at the day, I can see I need more fruits/veggies, and some dairy.

Still working on getting mileage in, and adjusting to making the time during the day to get that mileage in... That is probably the most common question I get around this hobby. "Where do you find the time?!"

Honestly, it isn't as difficult as one might think. I usually ask people to add up how much time they watch TV; it is typcially an hour or more a day. My solution? Treadmill and stationary bike trainer in the house, and any time spent watching TV can immediately become training time (see photo)...

The follow up question is usually something along the lines of whether training indoors is an adequate way to train for the mileage and nature of the course. Truth is, probably not. But given the choice of running and biking in the snow and rain, or doing it inside at home? Home wins every time! Plus, as spring takes hold, I'm able to get outside for long runs and rides to get some "real world" mileage...

Have a great day!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

147 Days and Counting!

Good morning to all!

This is the first post documenting our family's prep for Iroman Coeur d'Alene! This one will frame up some of the basics for my posts. Nutrition (basically, what I eat, not really scientific), training, and some of the mental prep... There is no test at the end, but this first post will give you some of the background information for interpreting the data posted.

I am currently in a build phase of training; getting my body used to training 5-6 days a week, with lower intensity and lower volume than will be found later on. My prep for this distance consists of a 20 week training plan, originally found at . The details of the training will be geared around pretty simple measurements:

-RPE, or rate of perceived exertion. This is a scale of effort during exercise, on a scale of 1-10. One being walking at a slow pace, and ten being an all out sprint that cannot be maintained for more than a couple minutes. RPE will also be tied into heart rate measurements periodically.

-Volume, measured in hours/minutes.

-Calories consumed. This is usually done combining regular diet (meals and snacks throughout the day), and engineered foods consumed during exercise (think Gatorade, and powerbars). This helps me keep track of the calorie amounts consumed and expended for keeping/losing weight, but also to find what foods sit well in my stomach over extended periods of activity. No one wants a race ruined by Gastrointestinal distress.

For an extremely interesting article on Ironman Racing nutrition, see this article:

Thank you all for reading, and I hope you find this interesting! As an easy introduction to what is to come, below is my first training post. There are no restrictions on comments, so feel free to post a response! Just be nice...

To keep things simple, here is my training log from yesterday, 1/23.

-60 minutes on the bike, indoor trainer. All small ring, easy effort. RPE 4. 16 ounces of Lemon Lime Gatorade (50 calories) and 6 Pina Colada Shot Blox (200 calories). Normally would just have the gatorade, but I got hungry on bike.

-Immediately after the bike, got on the treadmill for 10 minutes of running at 6.5mph pace (around a 9.5 minute mile). RPE 4.

-Breakfast: Whole wheat bagle with peanut butter, 2 cups coffee, and 16 ounces of blueberry pomegranate juice.
-Lunch: Large bowl of granola cereal, skim milk. Handfull of wheat thin crackers.
-Dinner: 2 pints of PBR (Thank you Todd!!), and many, many buffaloe wings (my only defense is they were my protein for the day), and cheese fries.
-Snacks: 20 ounces of vitamin water, chips and salsa, and 2 packets of instant oatmeal.