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IM Boulder Week 21 Wrap-Up

Week 21 of training for Ironman Boulder 2017 is on the books. I can’t believe it is only 6 more weeks until race day. 5 months of training are behind me already. Although February was a bit of a wash, due to a pretty bad case of Bronchitis for a solid two weeks. March and April have been mostly trying to get back to where I need to be.

The early part of the week was spent mostly recovering from the St. Luke’s Half Marathon. My run on Wednesday was still feeling a little soreness in the legs. Thursday was a really good day. I had a great swim and was able to get out with some work mates for a really nice 2-hour ride.

My 2nd run of the week on Friday was ok. It was bit warm out(~85F) so that never works well for me. I took it easy and just kept things in zone 2.

My long bike ride on Saturday morning was great. I followed most of the old DCT ride route making my way up to Kempton, PA, down to Werley’s Corners and back again, totally just under 75 miles. Not super fast, but it was breezy and my watts indicated I was working harder what my speed indicated. It was warm Saturday, but the sun was behind the clouds most of the time so that helped.

I was also playing around with a GoPro too. 🙂

I drank two bottles of Skratch Labs, one water only, one bottle of Hammer Perpetuem(3 scoops) with some Beet Elite powder. I also had an Amrita Bar and a Honey Stinger Waffle for some solids. Oh yeah I also got some free, sample vegan crackers from the Rodale Institute while I stopped for a “natural break”, Phil Ligget would say.

I finished things off with a 20-minute brick run and broke in a new pair of Saucony Freedom ISO’s. More on those later.

Sunday was a bit cooler and overcast. Perfect for a long run. I was a bit leery about how the legs would feel after the long bike the day before, but things were feeling pretty good. I got in a little over 16 miles in about 2.5 hours. Things were getting a little stiff towards the end though and my IT band was tightening up. While stretching at a stop sign a guy stopped to make sure I was ok. That was cool! 🙂

I also ran the entire run in my new Saucony’s. They did pretty well too. No brake-in required. 🙂 Not sure if they are marathon material though. They are soft and comfortable, but not quite as luxurious as the Hoka Cliftons. Of course, the Hoka’s would have covered my feet in blisters too and the Saucony’s didn’t.

One other note was that I got in two good core strength workouts in this week too. I have been slacking on that lately and I am starting to feel it. I am thinking that this was also why my workouts towards the end of the week were better.

All-in-all feeling good. Another pretty big training week this week and then a little rest the following week.

IMCDA 2015 Training Update-Week #6(of 26)

Wow! Only 20 more weeks to go until Ironman Coeur d’Alene. Week #6 was a pretty solid one. I had almost 12 hours of volume and a few points shy of a 700 Training Stress Score(TSS). That equates to a average intensity of around .8(80%) overall for the week. Pretty high for a early season training week, but I am getting close to a easier week coming up the week before heading to Sedona. The week in Sedona should be pretty full of activity though with a bit of cross-training to boot.

I had a couple of the dreaded red blocks on TrainingPeaks, but one was a strength training and the other was my shorter speed interval swim session. Desite missing those two workouts I still was only 33 minutes off my planned volume. If I would have done those I would have been probably 30 minutes over. Hey I don’t want to overtrain right?

Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2015 Training Week #6 - TrainingPeaks.com
Ironman Coeur d’Alene 2015 Training Week #6 – TrainingPeaks.com

Looking at the bigger picture, progress is gradually increasing with slight amount of fatigue. One thing to note is that there are not any real large spikes in fatigue(pink) so I don’t think I am throwing too many “curveballs” to my system. Comparing to last year I am well above where I was at this same time, but I am also competing a month before too. I can definitely feel the fact that your endurance and fitness build from year to year.

Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2015 Training Week #6 PMC - TrainingPeaks.com
Ironman Coeur d’Alene 2015 Training Week #6 PMC – TrainingPeaks.com

Looking at TSS week to week, I have steadily progressed from my last rest week three weeks ago. The intesity(IF) has also increased as well. Next week should be another build week before an easy recovery the week before heading to the Southwest from some warmer temps and lots of outdoor training.

Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2015 Training Week #6 TSS - TrainingPeaks.com
Ironman Coeur d’Alene 2015 Training Week #6 TSS – TrainingPeaks.com

 

 

IMCDA 2015 Training Update Week #3(of 26)

Week #3 was a pretty good week. My volume and Training Stress Score(TSS) were pretty high. I got in some good long and instense workouts.

Zwift Trainer APp
I have also been invited into the beta program for the Zwift Trainer App. Pretty cool graphics although the course is a 5k loop, so you keep seeing the same scenery over and over. Has good possibilities though. You can also ride with other people sort of like gaming for athletes.

I feel my swim stroke rate is getting faster thanks to the use of my new favorite pool toy, the Finis Tempo Trainer Pro.

Finis Tempo Trainer Pro

I can now set a temp for some swim sets and just try to hold on to the pace. I am slowly increasing the stroke rate and the distance of sets. Now, when I go back to a slower pace it seems so easy. It really helps you develop a good rhythem in your stroke.

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Training Peaks Performance Management Chart

 Heart Rate Variability(HRV) has made a huge jump since the start of the New Year. I think that is in large part to cleaning up my diet again and ditching the alcohol. I am also seeing the weight come off rather quickly too, which is due the lack of IPA’s.

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Last year I had purchased a Beddit sleep tracking device, which allows me to download some of my sleep stats. The Beddit also tracks my heart rate and respiration rate through the night which is pretty cool. THey are eventually going to add HRV too, so it will be interesting to see how that trends during the night. It may also reduce my need to strap on my heart rate monitor every morning. So, sleep has been pretty good all along averaging about y hours a night.

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Beddit sleep tracking vs. HRV.

IMCDA 2015 Training Update Week #2(of 26)

This past week was a recovery week, so training wise things were a bit lighter than normal. Not too light, though as I still racked in about 7 hours of training. But, just because it was a lighter week, doesn’t mean it wasn’t a productive one.

Watts - More trainer time with the cold temps
Watts – More trainer time with the cold temps

 

If you didn’t see my previous post I was brought on-board as an Amrita Ambassador, which I am pretty stoked about. If you have read anything on this blog, you know I am a loyal Amrita user and it is the cornerstone of my race nutrition. Being part of that product I think is a win-win for both of us and I am pretty proud to be able represent them. Don’t forget you can use coupon code “britri15” and get 15% off at www.amritahealthfoods.com

I also attended the Offseason Strength Training workshop put on by Fernando Paredes and Tood WIley this past Saturday. I am looking forward implementing these strength routines into my training this season and will hopefully see some improvements from it. I am also excited to get away from the old classic weight-lifting exercises and start doing something different that works the whole body as a complete system, You can read more about the workshop here.

IMCDA Week#2 Summary
IMCDA Week#2 Summary

As for training, I ended up getting 2 workouts in for each discipline and also still having off Monday and Saturday. Saturday was the strength training workshop, so it wasn’t totally off. I feel pretty refreshed and ready to hit it hard for a couple weeks. As you can see from the Performance Management Chart below, the pink(fatigue) and yellow(form) lines in Training Peaks is showing I should recovered well too. The weather here in the Northeast has been unbelievably cold, so most of my workouts have been indoors. It works out well since I can catch up on podcasts and audiobooks. I am planning to do a TrainerRoad FTP test on Monday next week to see where I am falling with regard to my bike power. I am curious if I dropped off from my personal best 253 watt FTP last year.

PMC Chart-IMCDA 2015 Week #2
PMC Chart-IMCDA 2015 Week #2

The race weight and nutrition side of things are also going pretty well. I have been staying away from the processed foods, breads and the beer. I have been cooking a lot, which really nips things in the bud. I have also been tracking my food intake on MyFitnessPal, which really helps me. You can even follow my progress on MyFItnessPal too if interested. I am down 8 lbs already in about a week and a half, which is pretty crazy. Especially considering this was an easy training week.

I am also working on a post comparing a few of the iOS Heart Rate Variability(HRV) Apps that I have been testing out. I have been a bit disappointed with my current application, Sweetbeat, and found that there are a bunch of new ones out there now. I am still accumulating some comparison test data now, but will be posting that soon.

That’s about it for this week. Thanks for reading!

 

 

IMCDA 2015 Training Update Week #1(of 26)

My first week heading into 2015 was a pretty good one. Since New Years fell on a Thursday this year, I was lucky enough to have a shorter work week which resulted in a little extra training. It was about the third or fourth progressive build week  in a row. I decided to get to it early in December since Ironman Coeur d’Alene is a month sooner than my typical Ironman at Lake Placid.

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I am feeling really good so far relative to this time of year. My endurance is good and I am trying to concentrate on increasing speed with more interval training. I have to be sure to give myself the adequate rest though to make sure that the speed is actualized and not become an injury.

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My biggest goal for the next 2-3 months is to lose the off-season 15+ lbs that I put on. It was a bit more than I wanted due to the extended off-season. I am giving up the IPA(any beer) until atleast after IMCDA which is the main culprit. I am also going to focus on more basic meals and smaller portions. No more pizza and bread. I may still add a little pasta to some stir-fries, but keeping the serving size to one. I have already started this since last week and immediately dropped 5 lbs.

I am still trying to figure my other race plans for the year. Nothing is jumping out at me right now other than that I would really like to do Steelman Olympic again in August. It isn’t looking too good for a pre-IM race to get my feet wet, although the French Creek triathlon may be an close option.

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Amrita Bars Post-workout refueling

Well, it is back to work this week so no more long training-only days. I am sure the pool will be very full with all the NYR people coming out of the woodwork.

Ironman Lake Placid Training Week 19 Update

48 Days Until Ironman Lake Placid

Week Totals
Type Distance Duration
Rest
Bike 124.5 mi 07:53
Run 23.4 mi 03:44
Swim 5522.7 yd 02:05
Total Duration: 13:42

I managed to survive another post-race build training week. Coming off a race and getting right back to training is always a bit brutal, but coming off a very difficult, hilly, and hot race at Rev3 Quassy is more challenging than anything I have experienced. My coach fortunately gave a rest day on Monday which I think helped recover a bit. Nonetheless, the bikes and runs were very tough through the middle of the week. There is just this constant stiffness in your legs that continues to remind you of every one of those hills at Quassy.

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Hurricane Sandy Updates from the Lehigh Valley

7:30 PM EST – Winds have slowed up for the time being. Not sure how long that will last.
7:10 PM EST – Lights flickered off for a few seconds but came back on again. Still got power, cable and internet.

6:36 PM EST – Rain has decreased but the winds have picked up a bit. Power and Internet still going. Houses across the street appear dark and I can hear some generators running. Strange looking light coming from Mr. Grumpy’s house across the street. Was able to cook dinner on stove and wash dishes. Time to catch up on my Turtleman episodes.

3:00 PM EST – Water beginning to trickle in the cellar door. Wetvac ready to go.

2:00 PM EST – Wind gusts start picking up a bit. Rain coming down pretty heavy.

1:00 PM EST – Work announced that they closing the office. Working from home today so I could not use that as an excuse not to work. As long as I have electric and Internet…still working.