Monday, September 28, 2009
Last weekend Lisa and I drove out to the Grand Canyon for a couple days. We ran/hiked down the south Kaibab trail to the river, and hiked back up the Bright Angel trail. Absolutely spectacular. Before heading home we spent a couple days in Sedona with a side-trip to Caduceus winery in Jerome where we picked up a few bottles of Chupacabra from Maynard James Keenan. Jerome is one of the cooler, spookier places I have been at night. I'll be back.
7 weeks to go until Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Clearwater, Florida. Chop chop!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Check out Clemson Photography for more cool shots from Mt. Palomar
Headed out on Wednesday night with Lisa for a road trip to the Grand Canyon, St. George, Utah (for a preview of the reportedly very nasty Ironman course), and Zion's magical slot canyons. Stoked! I have never been to any of these 3 places although they have always been near the top of my Must-Experience list.
We are bringing our bikes, goggles, and running shoes of course to run, bike and swim in some of the most beautiful places in our country...It seems like I have procrastinated on finally getting around to these spots. Guess I'm a "pleasure delayer"!
No more slacking! Last week was my first full week back after spending a few weeks busy with road trips, business travel, fighting off a stubborn foot injury, and squeezing in a couple races (Santa Barbara Long Course Triathlon and XTERRA Lake Tahoe). I managed 20 hours total, with a good moderate balance of 12k swimming, 250 miles riding, and 36 miles running. Not mega-mileage, but I am just trying to hit my "basic week" at this point, at "Steady" with very limited harder efforts as I re-build some fitness for my fall races.
My swim has been curiously slow this year and I am passionately working on improving ASAP. Over the last 7 days I have logged over 16,000 yards in the pool, most of it working on technique. This is the first time in several years I have been over the 12-13k mark and it seems like the shoulder issues I had this spring/summer are gone (knock knock!). I am going to keep the volume and technique focus rolling, hopefully with some good results. Already I have taken 10 seconds off my best 500 time for 2009, at a lower "perceived exertion" than ever before. Progress! The goal is to get in frequent 20k weeks with additional coaching and a new CERTAINTY that I will swim under 1hr in my next Ironman, summer 2010.
On the bike I am still in the learning phase of training with Power. I invested in a PowerTap wireless unit and have only a few rides beyond "steady" pace so far. One was a group ride up Mt. Palomar two weekends ago. The climb was early in a 103 mile ride with over 10,000 feet of elevation gain, with some studly OC riders (Chad, Max, Kurt and Kaiser Sosa) so I was not going to risk blowing up or even going above Lactic Threshold. Still, I was able to easily average over 300 watts for the climb (not normalized), even with a fade after 50 minutes, without going too hard so I believe my FTP is somewhere in the low 300s. In 10 days I will do the climb again with the sole purpose being an accurate maximum 60-minute effort/Functional Threshold Power test. The numbers don't lie!
Running is finally getting "back up to speed", so to speak. I took almost a month off from any real run training after sustaining a weird ankle injury after Ironman Coeur d'Alene. After a month of very low mileage (30 miles/week or less) I took a couple weeks off almost completely (save for a couple races) and it seemed to do the trick. Celebrex, Ice, massage, and light stretching also seemed to help. Hopefully I can re-build and improve my running fitness in time for a solid 8 weeks leading up to the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater. That race is known for a crowded draft-fest on the bike, so even if I post a sub 2:10 bike split it is unlikely that I will drop the top contenders in my age group. It's critical to have a fast swim and be ready for a Personal Record on the run! The joke is that they're calling it a "wet half marathon"...
Lastly I am working on putting together a reasonably-priced winter training camp or two for Triathletes and cyclists. This camp will be geared towards folks training for Ironman or other longer distance triathlon, however it is also appropriate for folks training for shorter distances at the top level. The plan is to rent a house or hotel for 5-7 days of massive base miles. Not a hammer-fest, but not slow. It is likely that the Campers will all be in sub-10 hour Ironman range fitness for the first camp, or at least have the equivalent bike fitness.
We're talking a 500 mile bike week, plus daily swimming and running, with no distractions. Yes, there will be awards for who completes the most sessions. Yes, it's going to be hard. Yes, you will need to recover after this camp. Yes, several well-known coaches in the industry offer the same thing but it seems like they are booked up and there seems to be a need for folks to "get away" for a week to crank up the base training for the 2010 campaign. Depending on interest, we may do one in Southern California and one in Arizona or SW Utah, with additional shorter camps throughout the year. My partner-in-crime is located in the Phoenix area and is a good friend and training partner who has several 9hr+ Kona finishes, top-20s at Ironman New Zealand, 2:34 marathons, etc.
If you are interested in the February Winter BASE Camp, comment on this post or email me directly. Price and details are being worked out over the next couple weeks.