Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Well first off, thanks to everybody who's been participating in Team Lionhearted. I'm almost half-way to my goal, and have had a lot of friends - many of you - make a donation, or post the banner up on your blog to spread awareness, or just send me a note of good vibes. So thanks one and all, I really, really appreciate it. I'll obviously be chatting Lionhearted up with some frequency throughout the summer, so please do hit the banner on the right (on the homepage) to make a donation. Thanks!

Okay, so - back to business. Things are presently rolling pretty much right on schedule. My training plan this time around is my own concoction, derived from my 6 years in the game and the most effective training tips, techniques, and ideas I've come across, followed, or been interested in along the way. It's devised to first, keep me healthy - distance and speed workouts increase incrementally, and slowly. Two, to allow me to peak at the right time - no century rides for me in May; everything is geared towards a September show. And third, to get faster. Isn't that always it? But in '06, it was all about survival - can I go the distance, period. Now, it's about building a strategy to actually get to the finish line as quickly as possible. Which isn't to say I have some obsessive time goal - I don't, and I don't really do that anymore. I'll let my training inform my goals, and when I get closer, I'll know what I'm capable of. For now, it's about learning to ride fast and long, but comfortable. A parallel objective, then, is to run - not walk. No merely surviving the marathon, no high drama meltdowns this time around. If I walk, it's as a matter of strategy, not survival.

So: I've been increasing my long rides by just 5 miles each week. Last week I rode 45 very comfortable miles on the Ironman course with a 17.8mph avg - a solid pace with a focus on a low Rate of Perceived Effort. On the bike, then, each week I have a strength or a speed workout and a 20 mile or so recovery ride.

Running, my longest run is something like 10 miles. My long run focus continues to be low RPE, but hoping for an increasingly easy, and speedy, pace. Toss in a recovery run and a speed/hill workout each week, and there you have it. So far, so good - last week I ran a training 5k with a 6:52/mile pace - a new unofficial PR, beating last year's fastest run of 6:56/mile. My legs feel strong and fresh, and getting stronger.

I won't hit the pool for another week or two - partly because until my wife is done with school for the year it's hard for me to get away to the pool, and partly to keep my volume in the water more sensible - going for 12+ weeks of useful training, instead of 16+ of generally sloshing around in the water.

In general, my volume is down across the board, but my workouts are more intentional - speed workouts are hard, hill workouts are hard. I'm not out there just spinning or slogging through miles for the sake of them. As the summer progresses my hope is that the increases in mileage come easily and naturally. So far, it's working out.

Oh, and I'm trying Infinit Nutrition, too. In all years past I've just loaded up on Gatorade, gels, and Clif bars. I built my own formula of Inifinit that gives me 300 calories/hour, plus the right amount of carbs and sodium - my hope is to go liquid only for nutrition, and load of a concentrated bottle on the bike and one in Special Needs at Ironman. If I get low, or need a change, then I'll shift to some of the on-course nutrition. But I'm hoping that keeping it simple, as well as not loading my bike with an arsenal of beverages and food, will keep me more on-point mentally, less distracted with nutritional needs, and generally keep everything easier. We'll see - so far, loading up a concentrated bottle and taking a few sips, chased with water, has taken me through 45 miles with no problems.

So - that's the update, up to now. If you haven't noticed, I update Twitter every day with my workout schedule/results, as well as other brief training/triathlon thoughts that don't really serve for a whole blog post. This has been great for me to quickly keep notes, communicate with those that are following my progress at Twitter, and update things pretty much daily. It is harder this time around to carve out a decent blog post; such is life with a 19-month old. So - in addition to the blog, please stay tuned to the Twitter posts over on the right side of the homepage, or follow me at Twitter - my name is xt4. Be sure to let me know you come from the blog if you follow me at Twitter, as I'd like to follow you, too.

Until the next update - be cool, everybody -

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