Tag Archives: bike

Ironman Lake Placid 2014-Pre-Race Saturday Update #2

Last year I pretty much did nothing exercise-wise the Saturday before Ironman Lake Placid. This year I decided I was going to take it easy on the Friday before and then do a light bike and run on Saturday. I usually feel better if I do a little something the day before a race.

Lake Placid Ski Jumps

Lake Placid Ski Jumps

I fired up the VitaMix immediately after waking up to get the engines fueled with a nutritious breakfast smoothie. I did a little bike check and maintenance after eating.  Then I headed out for a nice easy ride out River Rd to Route 86 and then follow the IMLP route through town and then back to River Road. I did extend it a little past the ski jumps to the Adirondack Loj road to take in the great view. The bike seemed to be in good working order and I felt confident now to take it in town and rack it in transition for the race.

Next, I headed back to the house and jumped into my run shoes and did a little brick run down River Rd. It was only about 10 minutes, just enough to get the muscles warmed up. Everything was feeling good and ready to roll!

I through the bike in the rack on the car and prepped my Bike and Run Gear bags for transition.

Bike Gear Bag:

  • Helmet
  • Sunglasses(dark & light lenses)
  • Socks( 1 light and 1 thicker wool pair)
  • Sunscreen
  • Spare jersey(for warmth)
  • Gloves
  • Arm warmers
  • Leg warmers

Run Gear Bag:

  • Sneakers
  • Spare socks
  • Run Hat
  • Run Belt and bib #
  • Fuel Belt & 4 bottles(2-Skratch Labs, 2-Honey & water)
  • 2 Amrita Bars
  • 4 Salt Tabs
  • Sunscreen

Denise dropped me off in at the back of the speed skating oval and waited for me. I racked my bike and hung my bags. It was pretty busy, but everything went smoothly. I tied the bags closed at the plastic instead of the string so that water would not get in. The weather forecast did not look promising for Sunday.

IMLP 2014-Bike racked in transition

IMLP 2014-Bike racked in transition

IMLP 2014-#2422 Gear Bags in Transition

IMLP 2014-#2422 Gear Bags in Transition

We then headed over to the Dancing Bears for some lunch. I was not real hungry so I kept It light with a nice salad which was perfect. After lunch we headed back to the house and just relaxed for the afternoon.

I had made some Sweet Potato Chickpea curry before we left home for my go-to pre-race meal. I did a little thai pepper to it that had a little punch to it. Hope that would not come back to get tomorrow!

I was in bed and asleep by 9:30pm. I really didn’t feel as freaked out this year as I did last year. Having done the race last year, I now knew what to expect and the anticipation anxiety was much less. It was a long training day and I had been through this before. I had no trouble falling to sleep this time! Big day tomorrow!

IMLP 2014-Training Update Week 15

2014-05-24 14.09.15

Week 15 wrapped up with the end of 3 weeks of building volume. This last week topped out at around 16 hours, with a 4:20 bike ride on Saturday and a 2:40 run on Sunday. Due to my late start on Saturday and dinner plans that evening I wasn’t able to get a brick workout in time. Despite the expected fatigue with that volume I have feeling pretty well. I have resolved the issue of not eating enough on the long bike which has made the Sunday runs much more pleasurable.Loch Valley Farmlands

My long bike on Saturday covered the 65 miles Dream Come True ride route which is easily followed with the white DCT marks on the roads. One note is that if you don’t see any marks, continue straight since they only seem to mark turns. It is a beautiful ride through the hills and valleys just west of Allentown. I lengthened it up a bit with some extra riding around the area totally about 72 miles total in 4:25 mins. Not too bad for a leisurely ride.

 

I also transitioned my bike over to my “race” setup for the upcoming Black Bear Half Iron triathlon on June 1st. I washed and lubed up the bike, changed my brake pads over to the SwissStops and put on my carbon race wheels. I also finally got around to putting on my XLab Torpedo Water Bottle Mount between my aerobars. I have had this mount for awhile now sitting in the bag, but was hesitant on putting it on since it didn’t fit real well between my bars. I did have to move my aerobars apart a bit because the length of my bars don’t give a whole lot of room for the bottle. I also could not find anywhere to mount the computer since there was no room on the Torpedo Mount plate and the headbolt they provided was not long enough to mount on my headset cap. I ended up putting the Barfly mount sticking to the outside on my right aerobar. I actually had to angle it down a bit so my arm didn’t keep hitting the lap button. Not an optimal setup, but it does keep me from staring at the Garmin all the time. Smile

I also got a new XLab Mezzo bag to hold all my spare tires and tools underneath my XLab Turbo Wing Mount system. It is pretty nice size to hold stuff and fits nicely out of the way. A much cleaner setup that what I had before. Now with the 3 bottle holders neatly tucked in a more aero position, I am going to take off the frame-mounted cages for races to give a more cleaner profile on the bike.

I realize most of this will do nothing for me on the super-hilly Black Bear bike course, but it is just a prep for Lake Placid which is what is really important.

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Looking back at last year, I am a couple hours ahead in volume and TSS this year. That is kind of the plan. I am hoping to top out around 17-18 hours here and then start increasing the intensity a little bit. I am also planning on moving to 2 week builds and 1 week recovery from here on out. This tends to benefit me more with the added intensity and it also works into my schedule better too.

 

 

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Heart Rate Variability (HRV) has been on a bit of decline, but nothing unexpected from the increase in volume. I have been keeping an eye on it and adjusting workouts accordingly.

hrv heart rate variability trend

hrv trend

 

Next week will be a pretty easy week while I rest up for the Black Bear Half on Sunday. This is going to be a pretty demanding race and I will need all the recovery I can get. After that I will be back at it for two weeks starting at about 16+ hours, then a rest week before my training camp weekend in Lake Placid. Things are gonna start to hurt now!

Pre-Race Scouting Report: Black Bear Half-Iron Bike Course

I have the Black Bear Triathlon half iron distance race coming up in a week and half. It is a fairly local race for me, so I thought it might be a good idea to take a run up there and preview the bike course for my LSD ride for the week. I have been up to Beltzville State Park before to do some open water swims but haven’t really checked out all the roads in the area. I heard the race was hilly, but I had no idea how REALLY HILLY it was. Wild Creek Reservoir-Penn Forest Rd.-Bethlehem Water Authority

 

The half iron bike course consists of approximately two 28 mile loops around the area, so with a planned 4 hour ride today I thought I would do at least the two loops and then maybe a little extra to fill in the time. It was a very nice, partly cloudy, with a light breeze of around 7-10mph.

Here is the link to my Training Peaks Workout too…

I arrived in the main parking lot in the later morning, unpacked my bike, geared up, and started on my way out the main entrance. There were a few other cars in the parking lot with bike racks and triathlon related stickers, so it was nice to know there were others out there riding too. There was also another guy in the lot unloading a bike with a Endurance Multisport jersey on, which is a local triathlon club.

The Course

The route starts out paralleling Beltzville Lake on Pohopoco Drive, which is a bit of a rollercoaster ride to get started. A series of up-and-downs, some larger than others, that prohibits you from creating any bit of momentum throwing your legs into a tailspin. The last couple rollers before making a left onto Sheller Hill Road are the worst. When I first saw Sheller Hill Road, I thought “that can’t be the first turn”. I was wrong and my Garmin quickly indicated this by flashing a “Off Course” on the screen. As I turned around and now made a right onto the road, the Endurance Multisport rider was turning there too. We exchanged a couple pleasantries and then he filed in behind me.

Sheller Hill Road was gradual at first, but then jutted up to a short, steep little climb. I was then down to the intersection of the first out-and-back section on Smith Road. Smith Rd. was mostly downhill on the way out and then a mostly uphill starting at the lollipop-like turnaround and then back again. There is one steeper hill right before a descent back to Smith Rd. heading back again.

Wild Creek Reservoir-Penn Forest Rd.-Bethlehem Water Authority

Reaching Sheller Hill Rd again you stay right and then soon make a right onto Penn Forest Rd. You then head downhill for a good stretch, but the road is fairly beat up so you need to stay alert. It eventually levels out right as you pass a nice mountain lake(Wild Creek Reservoir) which seems to be a false flat area. Again the road is pretty beat up still. You eventually reach a new bridge right before it starts descending uphill again. I am not sure how far up the course goes before it turns around. I went half way up the first loop and all the way up the second time. It is a pretty steady climb. Then you turn around and head back again. The ascent up was to Sheller Rd again was not as bad as I thought, but it is another climb in easy gears nonetheless.

Next, is back down to Pohopoco Drive for another roller coaster ride. One big uphill and then make a right on what I think is Lakeside Dr. After a sharp left you come to a fork at Lovitt Rd. When I first saw this road and the steep climb I thought we could NOT go that way, but again I was wrong. This is yet another short steep section. There is a nice long quiet descent through the woods after though.

The course usually turns right onto Owl Creek Rd, which I did, but the road is marked closed and the bridge is blocked off further down the road. It is actually a nice little stretch that you can gain some speed and I was able to slip past some barriers and the large pile of dirt on the bridge to get through. Not sure what they will do for the race though.

 

Bridge Out! Road closure and bridge out on Black Bear course.There is one pretty steep climb after the bridge. I found myself saying “you’ve got to be kidding me” when I made the turn. The really were not bashful with this bike course. The rest is mostly flat or downhill to the park entrance before doing it all over again.

Course Summary

I heard this was hilly, but holy crap it was brutal. Granted I was doing a long, slow distance ride, it still kicked my ass. Last year I did Rev3 Quassy and I though that was a hilly course, but after checking my logs this course has almost 1000 more feet of climb over the same distance. It is 1000 less than the FULL Lake Placid Ironman bike course of 112 miles.

This is definitely not a course to go out like gangbusters. You could really cook your legs in a hurry and have a rough half marathon to run afterwards. The only solace is that the run does not appear to be quite as hilly. I ran part of the course for a brick run and it wasn’t too bad, but it was on dirt road and trails. I think this would be a good race to ride a road bike instead of a tri bike. There is a ton of shifting to do! Unfortunately, my old Cannondale road bike is NOT race ready. Oh well it is my B training race, so it will be a test of my fitness.

Ironman Lake Placid Training-Week 23 Update

The final build week of the season has been completed…and I have survived! The week started out with some easy training volume with my coach cutting me back to only one-a-days. This gave me some much needed recovery time but also brought about the crappy feeling that comes with a few days of easier training. I knew that after the heavy volume of the previous weekend and the intense heat that accompanied it, I needed that going into this final weekend. Monday to Wednesday consisted of a swim, run, swim respectively. As you can see from my Heart Rate Variability below, that after my long bike on Saturday my HRV continued to decline until about Thursday. (NOTE:The training hours below are matched up with the next mornings’ HRV reading.) It did start to rebound a bit after getting back to regular training volumes again.

Heart Rate Variability July 2013

Heart Rate Variability July 2013

Fitness(CTL)/Fatigue(ATL)

Fitness(CTL)/Fatigue(ATL)

Weekly Training Volume by Discipline

Weekly Training Volume by Discipline

On Thursday, the 4th of July Holiday, we went to a Bike-N-BBQ that friends of ours were hosting. The event consisted of a several group bike rides of varying abilities and distances in the morning followed by a cookout thereafter. I chose to ride the ~53 mile “A” ride and Denise was going to do the 30 mile C ride, which worked out perfectly. My coach had eliminated my Tuesday bike ride this week in anticipation of this special ride. It was a good thing too. The “A” ride was filled with some pretty advanced riders and the pace was very fast especially considering the hilliness of it. We even did a ride over Blue Mountain which I think is a category 3 climb.

Riding my tri bike proved to be an additional challenge for me in keeping up with these guys and their more responsive road bikes. Nonetheless I kept them in eye-shot and maintained as much of a steady pace as I can.  I seemed to catch up with them on some of the climbs which surprised me. I thought that tri bikes are not usually good on climbs. The first half of the ride was also a bit of a struggle as my legs were feeling extremely fatigued and stiff. They did start to come back to normal about halfway through and I finished the ride hanging a bit closer to the pack.

We finished up with a average speed of around 18MPH, which is pretty good considering the ~3600 feet of climbing we did. I think that ride was perfect addition to my training. I don’t typically ride with others and it was kind of good to have that extra motivation to push the speed up a bit. After the ride we chilled out and enjoyed nice cookout and a few beers. Everyone at the bbq was really nice and we enjoyed a nice time chatting with everyone. The temps that day were also pretty hot, but thankfully they had some canopy tents that everyone congregated under which made it much more tolerable. It was a nice day out to relax and chill out a bit as this intense training finally to wind to a finish. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of the event. Hmmm…WTH? So unlike me.

The Last Big Weekend…

I decided to take off on Friday to make a 4-day weekend out of the holiday. On Friday I met with Kenrick Smith from TheBruisedBanana to help him out with some web stuff. After that, I headed over to Dutch Springs for my LSD Swim. I got there around 2PM and it was cooking out(VERY HOT!). You have to wear a wetsuit there, so I had no choice but to put it on. The top couple feet of water was pretty warm that day, but every so often you would catch a cool spot. There were many people kayaking that day and it was a bit more challenging sighting and not running into someone. It did take some of the monotony of it. I ended up cutting my swim to only the prescribed 1:05 that my coach had scheduled since it was pretty warm out. If it was warmer I probably would have done the 2.4 miles again. Oh well, save that for July 28th!

Saturday consisted of another 6 hour bike ride with a 30 min brick run to follow. It was forecasted to by dangerously hot and humid on Saturday with Heat Index of over 100 degrees F. I thought it would be good to get out bright and early and try to get most of the work done before the worst part of the day. I mapped out a course to follow the 65 mile Dream Come True(DCT) ride course on my Garmin the night before, but when I went to start out my ride the Garmin locked up on me trying to load it. Arggh! I lost about 34 minutes(9.4mi) of my ride on the unit due to this issue. The ride course never loaded so I was left having to navigate the route by the leftover markings on the road. Unfortunately I did hit a few roads that have recently been oil and chipped(PENNDOT Sucks! Do they ever pave anything anymore?)  and had to figure my way out. I think I did ok though. Ride was really nice and there was one long stretch from Kempton to Werleys Corners that was mostly flat, decent paving and a tailwind the whole way. Ahhh! Although the end of that was punctuated with a nice cat 4 climb up Werley’s Corners hill.

Cows along ride as I started my ride

Cows along ride as I started my ride

#546

#546

View of Holbens Valley from Werleys Corners

View of Holbens Valley from Werleys Corners

Refreshments!

Refreshments!

Rodale Institute Farm Store

Rodale Institute Farm Store

Towards the end of the DCT route I swung through the Rodale Institute Farm and made a pitstop at the store. They had some nice cold coconut water and New Zealand Spring water in the coolers. This tasted like liquid gold at this point as the temperature had really started to rise at this point. I filled up my water bottles from their tap and got back on my way. I still had a couple more hours to go so I headed out to Fleetwood on my typical routes and made my way back home from there to fill up the 6 hours. My black cycling shorts had started turning white at this point due to the rapid evaporation of my salty sweat on this hot day. The one nice thing about riding bike on a hot day though is that you always atleast have a 15-20 mile per hour breeze blowing.

When I got home I quickly changed into my running gear and headed around town to complete my 30 minute brick run. The first mile or two was tolerable, but the last mile was just brutal. The heat had finally caught up to me and I had trouble finishing the last 10 minutes as I made a loop through Lock Ridge Park. I was totally wiped out by the end and I just stood there hunched over for a minute trying to regain my composure a bit. The run this time had taken me to my limit. What would my long run be like tomorrow? Ugh!

Farmland near Lyons, PA during the heat of the day

Farmland near Lyons, PA during the heat of the day

I

headed over to the Lehigh Parkway for my last 3:15 run. I got started a little before 7am and it was already hot at this time. The run had gone pretty much ok through most of the first 2-6 mile loops of the parkway. As I got towards the end of the 2nd loop, my foot had begun to expand and my toes were now jamming in the end of my fairly new Altra 3-Sum running shoes. The website I purchased them from recommended that I get size 11’s based on the size 10.5 I had for my New Balance. Apparently I should I have gone a half size more because now my toes were jamming in the end of them. Also just as I was finishing up that 2nd loop I also bumped into a fellow co-worker who has finished Ironman Lake Placid  a couple times and is also competing again this year. This and a fresh change of running shoes gave me a little motivation that I needed to get moving again on the 3rd loop.

The extra motivation got me down to about the 2nd mile and then the hit started to sink in again. Now I was stopping at every water fountain and soak my hat and fill up my empty water bottles to pour over myself. I was really struggling now. So much so that I began cycling through running for 4 minutes and walking 1 minute. This helped and it got me through to finish the 3rd loop and completing the 3:15 that I needed. When I got back to the car I was so wiped out and unfolded my camp chair in the parking lot and just sat in the shade for 20 minutes until I began to regain some composure and stop sweating.

When I had got up that morning I weighed 170 lbs. When I got home from running, after drinking a Nalgene bottle and a bike water bottle full of water, I weight 164lbs! Yikes…that is a lot of liquid lost. I also went through 8-8oz Fuel Belt bottles and had a Amrita bar and a Clif Bar. Where did it all go???

Well, that is that. The hard work is now done and there is not much I can do now to change anything for Lake Placid, except for doing something stupid and injuring myself. The 3 weeks of taper begins and now it is time to let the body recover and get ready for Ironman Lake Placid 2013!! Hard to believe it is only 3 weeks away.  It has been a long 5 years and now it is show time!

Thanks for reading!!!