Sunday, June 18, 2017

Schedule week of June 19



For once I actually did less than planned. Which is a good thing considering this is taper time. Tuesday's bike got shortened because I thought I had the wrong workout loaded in my Garmin, but that gave me time to remove my pedals (Garmin Vector power meter pedals) and drop the Merlin off at Dorian's so he could install the compact crankset that finally arrived. I skipped Wednesday's run because it was raining hard and I did not feel like taking chances so close to my A race. Spin class was short because Dorian delivered the Merlin and I had to install the pedals, plus Pattie's knee was acting up; better to quit while you're ahead. Sunday's bike was shortened and I changed the route, from Tantalus to Diamond Head, due to threatening skies, and I needed time to work on the seat post.

Yeah, the seat post. That thing was a poor fit right from the start, umpteen years ago. The saddle height is perfect so there is no reason to mess with it before the race. Except for shipping the bike. I have a terrific Timbuk2 bike bag that I prefer to use because there is less chance of dings and a bent derailleur hanger. Actually, my Merlin does not have a separate hanger, it's built into the frame. Bend that and kiss the bike goodby. Anyway, the frame will not fit in the bag without removing the seat post. Which is standard practice. With the Cervelo P-3 I also had to remove the handlebar, but that was because of the awkward shape. For a road bike I should only have to rotate the bars sideways. I have tried everything, so as I write this I am awaiting a call from Dorian to bring the bike and we will wrestle it together. If we can't bust it loose I will have to pick up some large boxes from UPS and construct a bike box. Onr that I can break down at the airport so that it will fit inside our rental car.

About the new crankset. I ended up with an Ultegra 50/34. Everything else on the bike is Dura-Ace so of course I wanted that, but nobody had any. I guess they all got sucked up by the pro teams. Oh well, Ultegra is nothing to sneeze at and it is a lot less expensive. But talk about down to the wire. I put in my order in late March/early April. Finally arrived last week Monday. Less than two weeks before race day. Whew!



Back at the start of the year when I created my Annual Training Plan the TrainingPeaks plan maker came up with a target CTS of 80.7 for CTTS. I started off below plan, then went well above it -- too high, probably -- then a little drop down closer to plan. As of today my estimated CTS on race day is 89.1. In other words, I got there and even did a little better. That should be a confidence booster.

Last week

ATP: 530 TSS
Planned: 590.2
Actual: 442.4

This Week

Week of 6/19 - Race week
Focus: CTTS
ATP: 530 TSS
Planned: 623.1

Mon
AM Run, 4mi + 4 strides
PM ST

Tue
AM Bike, hill cruise intervals
PM Swim, OW

Wed
Trip prep, pack

Thu
Fly to Maui

Fri
AM Bike, easy ride, packet pickup

Sat
Race, CTTS

Sun
Fly home

Next race: Tinman, Jul 23.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Schedule week of June 12



Managed to put in a good week of training. Wednesday's run workout was long and hard, and Saturday's run took a lot out of me. Enough that I shortened Sunday's planned ride.

For this week I need to back off a bit more, especially the running. Last week's TSS from the Annual Training Plan was 530; I did 773, but had I done everything as planned it would have been 959. Okay, so maybe I am getting it just right. Anyway, I am going to replace the Saturday long run (11mi, 220 TSS) with an old favorite, Kahala - Diamond Head Lookout (5mi, 110 TSS). That should give me better legs for whatever I decide to do Sunday.

My CTL is tracking nicely. Still above the ATP but following the plan profile. Higher is better as long as the body does not start breaking down. Let's take last week's "thing" as a hint.





Last week

ATP: 530 TSS
Actual: 773

This Week

Week of 6/12 - Peak week 2
Focus: CTTS
ATP: 530 TSS
Planned: 587.5

Mon
AM Run, 4mi + 4 strides
PM ST

Tue
AM Bike, hill cruise intervals
PM Swim, OW

Wed
AM Run, 5K Intervals
PM Bike, spin class

Thu
AM ST
PM Yoga (or not)

Fri
AM Run, 3mi + 4 strides

Sat
AM Long run, 5 mi

Sun
Tantalus 1x

Next race: 1 week until CTTS.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Schedule week of June 5



I have been very lucky this training cycle, good weather and good health allowed me to stay right on schedule. Alas, last week it fell apart. I had a great bike workout Tuesday morning, but when I got to the office I felt as though a bus has rolled over me. Immense fatigue, as if I had been walking non-stop all day. No fever, no runny nose. I didn't feel sick, so I assumed I had been training too hard. I ended up taking the rest of the week off. Lots of bed rest. My stomach was tender so I had to watch what I ate and only small portions. Eventually I decided it must be some kind of virus.

By Saturday I was well enough to attempt a ten mile run. Did it, a bit slower than normal. That afternoon after sitting on floor in a air conditioned room for five hours I ended up chilled so deep I was shivering uncontrollably for more than an hour.

This week begins Peak period -- also known as taper. The way I wrote my plan I have Peak week 1 and 2, then Race week. TrainingPeaks always starts weeks on Monday, so CTTS comes at the end of race week. So now we have 2 weeks until start of race week. Confused?

One way to look at this is I started Peak a week early. I must avoid the temptation to squeeze in every possible workout to make up for the lost time. The only significant loss was today's long Tantalus ride. I changed Tuesday's hill work to include a better high intensity workout, one that should produce a good muscle response without as much fatigue. I left Sunday open. The idea is to do a lap of Tantalus and see how I feel. I should be able to do two, the only question is whether or not I feel like doing three.

Sunday after is Father's Day. I penciled in a Pineapple Hill ride, focused more or endurance than intensity, but I need to work it out with Pattie. Sometimes Tantalus is a bit too steep.

My weekly CTS scores show a dramatic drop in training. No surprise here. The good news is that as long as I stick to my plan I will hit my goal for CTTS.






Last week

ATP: 760 TSS

The planned and actuals for last week have little meaning due to my illness. Tuesday morning I got in my last good ride, and Saturday morning I did a ten mile run.

Actual: 363.2

This Week

Week of 6/5 - Peak week 1
Focus: CTTS
ATP: 530 TSS
Planned: 536.4

Mon
AM Run, 4mi + 4 strides
PM ST

Tue
AM Bike, hill cruise intervals
PM Swim, OW

Wed
AM Run, Tempo Intervals
PM Bike, spin class

Thu
AM Strength with Dorian
PM Yoga

Fri
AM Run, 3mi + 4 strides

Sat
AM Long run, 10 mi

Sun
Tantalus 3x

Next race: 2 weeks until CTTS.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Schedule week of May 29


This has to be brief because our Internet at home is down and I am running through my phone. Do not want to burn up too much capacity. I will expand on the history stuff later in the week. In the meantime I just want to post my schedule and take a snapshot of my Trainingpeaks stats.




Last week

ATP: 760 TSS
Planned: 798.1
Actual: 651.4

This Week

Week of 5/29 - Build 2 week2
Focus: CTTS
ATP: 760 TSS
Planned: 1,161.5

Mon
AM Run, 3mi + strides
PM Ride, Hawaii Kai loop

Tue
AM Bike, hill cruise intervals
PM Swim, OW

Wed
AM Run, Tempo Intervals
PM Bike, spin class

Thu
AM Strength with Dorian
PM Yoga

Fri
AM Run, 3mi + 4 strides
PM Bike, Hawaii Kai loop

Sat
AM Swim, OW + Long run, 12 mi. (Run home from Ala Moana)

Sun
Tantalus 3x

Next race: 1 week until North Shore swim series #1
3 weeks until CTTS.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Schedule week of May 22


This has been one heck of a week. It began slowly, a little recovery from Sunday's race, then exploded into some major activity. I think I set a new PB for weekly TSS. The previous week scored 736.2, but the pre-race taper pulled down the weekly average. This week came out to be 1,087.1! I don't think I ever got above a thousand.

A high TSS should mean my fatigue is high, and it is. As I write this on Monday morning I feel very tired. Funny thing is, yesterday after a really hard bike ride I still had plenty of energy, enough to go out a purchase a new fan for our bedroom, and install it!

The best part about Sunday's bike ride was that I could do three laps of Tantalus better than my last attempt at two. The key of course was to hold back a bit. I kept reminding myself I was more interested in duration than intensity. As pleased as I am with the results, keep in mind that my total climb was 4,300 ft., not quite half of CTTS at 10,000 ft. Plus I has two nice recoveries in there, the decent plus a few minutes at the bottom. On the first decent I flatted right at the bottom, which imposed an even longer recovery. Strange, because I rarely get a flat. But luck was not with me, because I flatted again, front instead of back, near Honolulu Coffee Company where I go for a post-ride snack. Months without a flat, then two on the same day. Must be something in the air, because my Outback got a slow leak that resulted in four new tires. OK, no more flats!

All this activity gave another big push to my fitness ramp. Last week I predicted a drop, but no sign of one yet. I just hope I don't burn out.





Last week

ATP: 450 TSS
Planned:867.7
Actual:1,087.1

This Week

Week of 5/22 - Build 2 week1
Focus: CTTS
ATP: 760 TSS
Planned:920.2

Mon
AM Run, 3mi + strides
PM Funeral, Dale Hoffman

Tue
AM Bike, hill cruise intervals
PM Swim, OW

Wed
AM Run, 5k Ints 6x1min
PM Bike, spin class

Thu
AM Strength with Dorian
PM Yoga

Fri
AM Run, 3mi + 4 strides
PM Bike, Hawaii Kai loop

Sat
AM Swim, OW + Long run, 10 mi. (Run home from Ala Moana)

Sun
Tantalus 2x

Next race: 2 weeks until North Shore swim series #1
4 weeks until CTTS.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Honolulu Tri race report and weekly schedule






In the goals I set out in my race plan I said I wanted a decent swim and bike, but the focus would be the run. I made that goal, and came pretty close to the pacing and nutrition.

I still pull to my left in the swim. This year I watched for that and corrected sooner than last year, so my course was my straighter. Still a few zigs and zags, but much improved. Also much improved is my sense of comfort in the water. It was a really nice swim. I was relaxed the entire time, felt great coming out of the water, ready to ride. Walked T1 to save feet, surface is rough asphalt.

The bike began with a little frustration. Technology fail. My Garmin Edge 520 refused to display power and heart rate. I stopped twice to try to get it going, and when that failed I did a full reboot while rolling down Nimitz Highway. Good thing the course was closed! When it came back, power was good, still no heart rate, This was not a big concern because my plan was all power based. Heart rate finally showed up on the run, after I fiddled with my strap. Again not a big deal, as my run was pace based.

The only disappointment was the organizers had us skip Lagoon Drive. This makes a mess of my bike time, so throw that out. I have no idea why that happened. There is nothing in the race information about a time limit. This means that I could bump someone. Not cool.

The real win, as I said, was how good my run was. Not that I am fast. The goal was to run the entire thing and not feel as though death was right behind me at the finish. No bonk. No cramps. No vomit. After a couple miles I held my planed 15:30 pace and pushed it above 14:30 at the end. I carried nothing, drank a little water at the aid stations. This was my first time not walking the aid stations, drinking on the run. Came in strong at the finish, but not as if I could have gone any faster.

Here are my plan vs. actual using my Garmin times.


PlanActual (my times)
Swim0:450:51:32
T10:050:06
Bike1:261:10:57
T20:040:03
Run1:361:36:48
Total3:563:48:45

Ramp rates and CTS got a big bump. I anticipate a return to normal levels soon.





One goal I missed was my form value on race morning. I was aiming for 4.0 but ended up at -8.5.  This is not a huge difference, especially considering that this was a "B" race. On Monday morning it was -28.3, which is as low as it should ever be and signifies time for some rest. I was pleased to see my intensity factor for the day was 0.80. A 0.85 would have been even better, but given how slow I am this was a reasonable value. Duration is a factor because 1.00 means an all out effort held for one hour. Elites do Ironman races at 0.80 - 0.85, but I am an old guy.

Last week

ATP: 530 TSS
Planned: 647.1
Actual: 736.2

This Week

Week of 5/15 - Build 2 week 4
Focus: Recovery, CTTS
ATP: 450 TSS
Planned: 826.4

Mon
AM Run, 4mi + strides
PM Strength with Dorian

Tue
AM Swim, pool
PM Massage

Wed
AM Run, 6mi tempo intervals
PM Bike, spin class

Thu
AM Strength with Dorian
PM Yoga

Fri (box jellies next three days)
AM Run, 3mi + 4 strides
PM off, optional swim

Sat
AM Long run, 12 mi.

Sun
Tantalus 2x

Next race: 3 weeks until North Shore swim series #1
5 weeks until CTTS.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Honolulu Triathlon race plan 2017



My goal for this race is to have a decent swim and bike, and a great run. In years past I have faded on the run, a combination of going too hard early and insufficient nutrition. For the swim and bike I am less interested in speed than smoothness and consistency, to set up the run.

My approach to nutrition is very different this year. In the past I would drink one bottle of Perpetuem on the bike, supplemented with one pack of chews washed down with plain water in a second bottle. I carried Perpetuem in my run belt, supplemented with water from the aid stations. This year I will push more fuel intake on the bike and only take a little water on the run. On the bike I will have two bottles of Perpetuem, plus a short bottle of plain water behind the saddle. I will have two Bonk Breaker bars in my bento box. I will eat the first bar as soon as I am settled, and the second just before or after the turn-around at the airport, depending on how I feel. The idea is to eat while I am not maxed out and to allow enough time for the bars to digest before the run.

Power on the bike will be zone 2 for the first five miles, then ease up into low zone 3 until Lagoon Drive. On Lagoon Drive start to push, high zone 3, occasional low 4. Do not fight headwinds. At Piikoi back off to zone 2 and spin well to get legs ready to run.

The key to run will be to limit myself to a 16:30 pace for the first couple miles, and only then let it go up to 15:30. I will not walk the aid stations unless I am feeling extremely dehydrated. Use the water more to cool off than drink.

My time estimates

Swim - 0:45
T1 - 0:05
Bike - 1:26
T2 - 0:04
Run - 1:36
Total - 3:56


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Schedule week of May 8


 


This was a week of challenges met. Quite a contrast to recent weeks in which results did not meet plans. The result was nice bump in fitness and of course fatigue.

Last weekThis week
Fitness69.678.3
Fatigue57.5108.5
Form13.4-22.7

The three pics above are supposed to represent swim, bike, and run. The first I took on my Wednesday morning run. The second, me sitting in that back on my Outback, was after my Tuesday afternoon swim. The third one was near the end of today's ride. It was a good, hard week.

This week culminates in a race, so some taper is in order. I have this as a "B" race so I will only do a partial taper. Even for a "B" race you want Form to be positive and I will be aiming for 4.0 on Sunday morning.

Yesterday's long run and today's bike had something in common. A mental strength challenge. The last mile of the run is uphill. Not terribly steep, but enough to make the finish harder than it needs to be. For the entire mile my mind kept insisting I had run enough, that I really ought to walk it in. Like Odysseus lashed to his ship's mast to survive the Siren's call I forced myself to ignore that voice in my head and keep running to the finish. Today I heard those Sirens again, on the second lap of Tantalus. I was tired. At times I was going so slow it was hard to keep the bike upright. But I kept going, and I am fine. Tired, yes, but fine.

About going slow on Tantalus. Today I rode Makani Kekoa, my Cervelo P3, because next Sunday is a triathlon. This bike weighs considerably more than my Merlin road bike and has a 52/36 chainring set. I use the same HED wheels on both, which has a 28 tooth cog. On the first lap I knew I was already slow on the steep section. Cadence was down around 34 RPM. On the second lap I was down to 30. Much too slow. My Merlin has a 53/39 and even so Tantalus feels much easier on it. Could be weight, could be frame geometry. Could be crank length. The P3 has 170mm cranks, the Merlin, 172.5. That is not a huge difference, but the longer crank does give more torque for a given input force. In any case, I have ordered a compact crankset for my Merlin, a 50/34. The effect of going from a 39 to a 34 -- same crank length -- should allow me to bring that cadence up significantly. If that is still not enough I will go to a larger cassette, but that will mean replacing the rear derailleur with one with a longer arm. One thing at a time.

It has been a while since I rode Tantalus so I was not sure what effort to use. My plan called for sweet spot on the climb, and back when I set up the plan that was 148-160 watts. But lately, WKO4 has dropped my modeled FTPm down to 154. I have been advised not to chase that modeled value too much, that it is better to stay with measured FTPs unless the gap becomes significant. I had my FTPs at 169, but that was set last August. The thing is, Trainingpeaks will tell you when it goes up, but not when it goes down.

After today's ride WKO4 bumped my FTPm up to 155. I think the time has come to take that as the actual value. To see the difference I took a screenshot of the Power by Zones chart for today's ride before and after resetting my power zones. With FTP at 169 I spent most of my ride in zone 2. That is not how I felt.


After resetting my power zones in Trainingpeaks to WKO4's modeled values I am shown to have spent more time in zones 3 and higher. That is a better match to how I felt.



Here are the ramp rates for this week. Like I said, got a much needed bump.


That bump in CTL has brought me back on course to my goal for Cycle to the Sun. I see a lot of hill work in the coming weeks.




One more thing. While studying the power thing I spotted a difference in weekly TSS between TP and WKO4. I have not looked into it yet.

Last week

ATP: 700 TSS
Planned: 795.6
Actual: 871.3

WKO4 932 TSS
- swim 36
- bike 267
- run 629

This Week

Week of 5/8 - Build 2 week 2
Focus: Taper/prep for Honolulu Tri
ATP: 530 TSS
Planned: 615.2

Mon
AM Run, 4mi + strides
PM Strength with Dorian

Tue (might swap order)
AM Swim, OW 1800yds
PM Bike, hill cruise intervals

Wed
AM Run, 3mi, base
PM Bike, spin class

Thu
AM Strength with Dorian
PM Yoga

Fri (work day off)
AM swim/bike/run brink
PM Packet pick-up, 3:00 - 6:00

Sat
AM Rest

Sun
Race, Honolulu Triathlon

Next race: 4 weeks until North Shore swim series #1
6 weeks until CTTS.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Schedule week of May 1



Last week was a strange week. Started well, but didn't end so well. Hopefully this week will be smoother.

My Monday run and strength training went well. My Tuesday morning swim was marred by a stronger than usual tendency to turn left, enough to cause me to reach out for help from some swim coaches I known on the mainland. Both offered a video analysis; so far I have not connected with someone to shoot video and static shots just don't show enough. I made that a goal for this week.

Tuesday was a post-race massage for me a Pattie. Late, but soonest possible. I wanted Samantha to get deep into my left thigh. I knew this would set me back a bit, but I would be better for it. She did, and the pain lasted until Friday.

Due to the Haleiwa Metric Century Ride I moved my Saturday long run to Friday, which meant taking the day off from work. Not a bad thing, because I usually fail to take as much time off as I am supposed to and end up with a year-end crunch that wastes some of those hours.

New shoes! Gravity 6.

Jason had me down to do a ten mile long run at a 14:30 - 15:30 pace. I usually do it at a 17:30 pace, but my goal is to run faster, so staying at 17:30 would not help achieve that goal. Going from 17:30 to 15:30 is a big step and I knew it would be hard, but I was determined to try my best. My run went splendidly until mile 6, when I sort of hit the wall. The last four miles were more of a walk. I didn't even bother to log them, but I did complete the distance. I asked Jason how to approach this week's run.

Saturday morning was supposed to be an easy swim with Pattie and Linda, more recreation than workout. The sky was dark and threatening, the wind was howling, and there was a brown water alert due to heavy overnight rain. Linda canceled. Pattie and I went to Ala Moana, surveyed the situation, and decided that with the century ride coming the next day we did not need the aggravation, so we bailed, too, and went to breakfast.

The weather report called for heavy rain Sunday, and for once they called it right. The only time the rain stopped was when we arrived. Thinking that the worst was past and the temperature would soon rise from a frigid pre-dawn 60F I decided not to wear my nice, warm GORE-TEX jacket and instead use my lighter weight Pearl Izumi jacket. I used to wear the GORE-TEX jacket when I commuted, but always had to take it off by the time I got to Makiki because it was too warm.

Wrong. It started raining just before the start, and never stopped. I was soaked, and chilled to the bone. Halfway back from the first turn-around at Camp Erdman I decided to continue would be folly. Besides, Pattie had texted me that she and her friend Sharleen were not even going to start and were hunkered down in the back of our Outback. One more reason to call the day short. As it turned out a lot of other riders made the same call, and some of my best friends didn't even start. I wonder if anyone rode the full course? I, and a lot of others, did less that 20 miles. By the way, very cool that my Forerunner 520 displays incoming texts. I got Pattie;s message without taking out my phone!

My original plan for this week moved my Monday run to Tuesday to allow for some recovery, but since I did not ride much today I moved it back to Monday. I would like to add in another bike workout, but the weather report still calls for heavy rain so that might not be possible. I will have to play it by ear.

Last week's Ramp Report. Friday's run made a nice bump in my CTL, but it should have been a lot higher. The earlier bump was from my morning run combined with my afternoon warm-up run before strength training. I was running well that day!


Summary plan vs. actual, following the plan profile but a bit low in intensity.




Last week

ATP: 450 TSS
Planned: 721.1
Actual: 406.5

This Week

Week of 5/1 - Build 2 week 1
Focus: Increase bike intensity, swim distance, swim straight
ATP: 700 TSS
Planned: 855.3

Mon
AM Run, 3mi + strides
PM Strength with Dorian

Tue (might swap order)
AM Swim, OW 1800yds
PM Bike 

Wed
AM Run, 6mi, ramp to tempo
PM Bike, spin class

Thu
AM Strength with Dorian
PM Yoga

Fri
AM Run, 3mi + strides
PM Swim, OW 1800yds

Sat
AM Long run, 11mi. (details TBD)

Sun
Bike, Tantalus 2x (20mi)

Next race: 1 week to Honolulu Triathlon
7 weeks until CTTS.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Schedule week of Apr 24



Three significant events last week. Admin and IT support for a two day conference that consumed all of Thursday and Friday, my Garmin Forerunner 935 came in at IT&B, and I committed to a more personalized run coaching arrangement. Too soon to see any results, but I am looking forward to exciting times.

The impact of that conference is obvious, as I barely got in half as much training as originally planned. No big deal, that happens to all of us. The most important thing is not to try and make it all up this week.

I did make it to yoga with Pattie Thursday night, where of course we did leg stuff. A whole series of lunges and stretches that focused on some of the key leg movements in Sun Salutations. I say "of course" because this was on top of the leg workout we did with Dorian on Monday in the gym. I actually packed a run kit on Thursday in case there was time at lunch for a few laps around Palm Circle, but a disgruntled computer nixed that. I had planned to do a short but intense bike workout Friday after work, but when Carl from IT&B called to say my 935 was in I decided to pick it up instead, followed by family dinner out at Kakaoko Kitchen.

The decision to do more with Jason Fitzgerald at Strength Running was the result of a long letter I wrote but never sent to one of my swim coaches, Suzanne Atkinson. I never met her in person but we did a lot of one-on-one via the Total Immersion Academy, and she is a co-author of a great swim workout book for TI swimmers called Fresh Freestyle. One of the other authors was the lead coach at the Total Immersion swim camp I attended last year in Kona. I was frustrated with my situation and decided to unload on poor Suzanne, but in the process it became clear to me that things were not bad at all. This is what happens when you compare yourself to people around you, and especially when you are imagining the other folks having a wonderful time. Writing it down was the perfect process for allowing me to see my mistakes. Then, having gained some clarity and insight, along came an offer from Jason.  Running is the one area in triathlon where I have had no personalized coaching. So I decided it was time, exactly what I was looking for without knowing it.

Speaking of yoga, I did a workshop recently with Kofi Busia at Elaine's studio. One of the points he made was that the purpose of doing yoga poses was to create space, in the body and the mind. Rather than struggle to get there, create the space and move into it. So maybe one of the outcomes for me was to create the space to improve my running.

One immediate outcome of signing up with Jason is the return of the long run. I thought I would cut back after Hapalua, but if I want to get good enough to return to Kona I will have to keep the ten mile run in my schedule. This week it conflicts with the Haleiwa Metric Century Ride, so I took Friday off and will run it that morning. Just for the heck of it I decided to take Monday off, too. I never take enough time off!

The downward trend in my TP fitness summary continues. Week before last it was the concert, this week it was the conference. Next week should see improvement.


That improvement is none too soon, as my current trajectory has me sagging well below my plan to get to CTTS.


Last week

ATP: 700 TSS
Planned: 711.2
Actual: 428.8

This Week

Week of 4/24 - Build 1 week 4
Focus: R&R, metric Century ride
ATP: 450 TSS
Planned: 721.1

Mon
AM Run, 3mi + strides
PM Strength with Dorian

Tue
AM Swim, OW 1200yds
PM massage

Wed
AM Run, 5mi, fast finish (get up early) (skip if massage warrants)
PM Bike, spin class

Thu
AM Strength with Dorian
PM Yoga

Fri (off at work)
AM Run, 10mi

Sat
AM Swim, OW

Sun
Bike, Haleiwa Metric Century Ride

Next race: 2 weeks to Honolulu Triathlon
8 weeks until CTTS.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Schedule week of Apr 17


Last week and this week present the types of time conflict challenges that can threaten even the most detailed training plan. There is a saying amongst endurance athletes, stated in various ways but, basically, "When life gets in the way."

Last weekend was the Hapalua Half Marathon, and even though I had it listed as a "B" race it required some taper and recovery, along with a focus on running workouts over the preceding weeks. From here going forward my primary focus is on the bike, with a strong secondary focus on long distance swimming. Well, long for me, at least. Even so, I want to retain as much as possible of the running form I developed, so I made the bulk of my recovery this last week short, low intensity runs. Naturally the Monday run was greeted with a great deal of complaint, but with each passing day the pain subsided.

According to my ATP this was supposed to be the start of the build phase working towards CTTS, but our spring gamelan concert fell on Saturday. As a work-around I took Friday off and planned to do a 40 mile ride. But along comes life again, this time the annual income tax deadline. I decided that morning that I really should make finishing the tax return a priority, and that along with rain nixed the long bike. I did manage a shorter ride Saturday. Had to be short to save energy for the concert, and besides, call was noon.

I woke up Sunday (today) very tired. For a solid thirty minutes I felt that any workout would be ill advised, an invitation to getting sick. Oh, and here comes life again, a party over in Kailua starting at noon. I think it is an Easter Lost Souls party. Anyway, Pattie and I really want to go, and I don't want to fall asleep after lunch, so I did my planned bike ride, plus a little more intense hill work, and skipped the planned run.

But wait, I am not back on track yet. This week my work involves a potentially disruptive series of events. There is one event Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by another event Thursday and Friday. I will not know until Monday the extent of my involvement with the first event. I know I will be involved with the second event, but the program has not been announced so I cannot plan my mornings and afternoons. This will have to be a make it up as you go along week. I have made a plan, I just can't count on sticking to it. Better still I should try to add to what I have planned, because I have is insufficient. Sunday's bike workout provides an opportunity to make up any shortfall.

On the equipment side I have decided to forego my old, standard 52/39 crankset for a compact setup, 50/34. This means replacing the entire crankset, as my Dura-Ace 7800 has the older, larger bolt pattern, too big for such small chainrings. (Gee, we're taking Lance Armstrong era, talk about vintage!) I ordered a Dura-Ace 9000, passed on new 9100 because it moves the chain line out a bit to accommodate short chainstays and disk brakes, and I don't want to hassle with second order effects caused by that.



Today's ramp rate chart shows the recovery:


Another simple chart I should add here is a CTS chart showing ATP plan vs. actual. You can see how I am falling behind. But you cannot just pile on more work to catch up. Doing so is a sure way to get injured.


Here is the real PMC in all its glory. Again, notice the dip going into this weekend. Really need to get something in mid-week. 


Last but not least, my Power-Duration chart from WKO4. This is bike only, past 90 days. Interesting how this week's efforts extended the curve at the right end (long duration) while lowering the curve at the 15 sec. point (where the vertical line is). That should smooth out in the coming weeks as hill climb intensity increases.








Last week

ATP: 450 TSS
Planned: 435.4
Actual: 312.3

This Week

Week of 4/17 - Build 1 week 2
Focus: Bike
ATP: 700 TSS
Planned: 648.6

Mon
AM Bike, extensive endurance
PM Strength with Dorian

Tue
AM hold
PM Swim, OW

Wed (box jellies)
AM hold
PM Bike, spin class

Thu
AM Strength with Dorian
PM Yoga

Fri
Bike, max aerobic intervals (do not run after)

Sat
AM Swim, OW, run, tempo 2 x 3/4 mi.
(If no gamelan could add something here)

Sun
Bike, intervals @ Ford Island.

Next race: 1 week, Haleiwa Metric Century, 3 weeks to Honolulu Triathlon
9 weeks until CTTS.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Race plans and reports



Back in college I had a piano teacher who had this advice for memorizing music: Take your music to bed. If you are like most people you enjoy a bit of reading at bedtime. You probably see it as a way to relax. A psychologist might be more interested in how being engrossed in a story allows your mind to transition from wakefulness to drowsiness without tripping over replay after replay of the day's stressors. What my teacher had discovered was that this also aided in memorization. How? Does it matter? The point is, it works, almost as if by magic. The deeper a piece of music is memorized, the less stressful the performance. The music just seems to flow out. This is not to say the performance will be flawless. There will always be unexpected challenges. But, the better the preparation, the smoother the result.

There is a valuable lesson here for endurance athletes. A lot can happen in the course of a long event. It goes without saying that the longer the event, the more unpredictable it will be. We tend to think of preparation in terms of the workouts we have done to prepare for the event. Triathletes love to throw down the word "specificity" to show that they understand the importance of adjusting their training to match the physical challenges a particular event poses. A well executed build and peak are essential to a successful race, but a comprehensive race plan is equally essential in achieving a successful outcome. You can wing it when it comes to a one hour bike ride, but that kind of casual approach to endurance racing is a recipe for disaster. In fact, a long, strenuous workout will benefit from careful planning just as much as a race. It is no fun heading into a third hour on a bike ride having packed a two hour supply of fluids and no source of water in sight.

An effective race plan is more than a few notes scribbled down the day before the race. The plan will begin to come into focus as the training progresses through the build period. Workouts in this period will be increasingly like the efforts required in the race. If the bike course is hilly, bike workouts must include similar climbs. If the run will spend significant time on grass, as does the Ironman 70.3 Hawaii, the athlete must practice running on grass, in the mid-day heat. It is at this time that realistic performance numbers will appear.

At around one week out from race day the act of writing a race plan should feel more like documenting what has been taking place the last few weeks. The simple act of writing it down works the same kind of magic as reading at bedtime by organizing what feels like a swarming cloud of disjunct thoughts and fears. Details come into focus. Contingencies are considered -- what if the day is rainy, what if I flat a second time, what if my heart rate is higher than expected, what if ... The more you plan for, the less stressful the situation will be should it happen to you, and, more important, the less you will worry about it.

Writing out a race plan goes a long way towards reducing stress on race day. Reviewing and tweaking the plan will do even more. Use the process to visualize the event, beginning with your plan for how to get you and all your stuff to the start line. A good plan will include pacing along with expected values for heart rate and power. Tricky turns, places where wind can be an issue, location of aid stations. The details depend on the nature of the course. Reviewing and improving your plan will allow you to internalize the details so that during the race it will flow like the lyrics of a favorite song.

Equally important to a good plan is a thoughtful race report. It is here that you document what went well and what did not. The successes and failures, large and small, will become input to your next race plan.

Here are a couple examples, my race plan and report for this year's Hapalua Half Marathon, and for Ironman 70.3 Hawaii last year. I am not saying they are perfect, but they can serve as a starting point for your own plans and reports.

My 2017 Hapalua Half Marathon race plan

My 2017 Hapalua Half Marathon race report

My 2016 Honu race plan

My 2016 Honu race report

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hapalua race report and schedule for week of Apr 10



Let's hear it for the slow runners. At yesterday's Hapalua Half Marathon I finished 6,124th out of 6,526 finishers, 138th out of 143 in my age group. The heat was a challenge. No wind to speak of. 79F at the start, 82F from mile 6 to 9, peaking at 93F up on Diamond Head. The leaders did not feel it as bad, as they were long since finished by the time I got up to KCC. I took a Hammer Endurolyte at almost every aid station, drank more than the usual amount of water and walked a little longer to let it settle. I felt as good as could be expected, with a bit of dizziness after finishing. Pattie was not so lucky, forced to abandon at KCC with dehydration and an unhappy stomach, puking the water she was taking in. Most likely due to insufficient salt intake. I saw quite a few people in similar condition, and worse. Fortunately we were both well enough later to enjoy dinner at Nico's Fish Market with a friend from California.

At the finish I was pleased that I had finished at all, given the problem my left leg had given me in the preceding weeks. It turned out to not be a problem at all. There was not much time to celebrate because I had to figure out how to reconnect with Pattie, being held prisoner at a medical tent. Eventually she escaped and walked over to our car, parked at KCC. How handy was that? It was not until later that afternoon that I took a look at my data and saw I had done rather well in meeting my plan.

For the Great Aloha Run last February I decided to try an experiment to see if I was holding back too much, by letting myself go and run at whatever pace felt good without worrying about heart rate. The experience proved that I need to hold back and monitor my pace and heart rate closely at the start to have any chance of finishing strong. That result along with some recent long training runs gave me less lofty looking goals. As much as we would like to run as fast as we want, we cannot resort to wishful thinking. Having goals is good, but struggling to try to achieve an unrealistic goal will only lead to a sense of failure.

Back in January when I was developing my schedule I made this plan for the Hapalua. Call this my crazy plan.

Pace
    Start to Monsarrat: 13:45
    Up Monsarrat 15:30
    Overall: 14:00

Time: 3:03:31

Last week when I wrote my race plan I came up with some more realistic numbers.

Pace
    Start to first aid station (2 mi) :17:30
    First aid station to Monsarrat:17:00
    Overall: 17:00
Time: 3:42:51

Here are my actual results (using NGP instead of average pace to smooth out some anomalies).
    Start to first aid station (2 mi): 17:06
    First aid station to Monsarrat: 16:36
    Overall:17:10
Time: 3:54:03 (official, my Garmin time was 3:53:54)

The reason my plan paces are slower but my time estimate is faster is that I planned on less walking. I knew I would walk the aid stations, but the need to drink more water meant a little longer walk each time to settle my stomach. I thought I could run up Monsarrat, at least until the grade kicks up near the top. I did run well past Campbell, but my heart rate had been at threshold long enough that I was afraid I might never start running again if I kept going. Still, running that far up the hill in those conditions was a good effort.

Speaking of threshold, my race plan had me focus more on heart rate than pace, with a goal of staying between 130 and 140 BPS and in zone 2 as much as possible. Early on I decided that staying in zone 2 would mean walking, so I got to where I felt really comfortable and that turned out to be 144. Higher than I had hoped for, but still below threshold. For most of the race I only monitored HR, and the only time I allowed it to creep up past 145 was running up Monsarrat. That is why I was running all the way down Kalakaua to the finish. I even pushed a little at the end, just for fun.

For some reason I did not drink as much of my Perpetuem as planned. Maybe because I was more focused on taking in water, and did not want to over-fill my stomach. I did have a gel around mile 6, and I never felt bonky, so that seemed to work out well. Salt tablets were a critical factor.

You can see more here on Trainingpeaks.Normally I would end a race report here, but I feel like looking a bit deeper. If you are not a data freak you may want to stop here.

One of my goals these past couple years has been to use a faster cadence. I find two positions on this subject. One is, get above at least 80, and preferably 90. (160 and 180 if you count both feet.) The other is to find your natural rhythm and do not struggle to run above that cadence. I follow the second group. I strive to be light on my feet, up and out of my hips, and move my feet as fast as comfortable.

Below is my cadence distribution for the race. That tall bar is 70-75. My average pace was 72 with a maximum of 77, so I never even got to 80. Good consistency, but I might do better with quicker feet. Something to work on, but not to obsess over.


I have already written about pace. Here are some charts, starting with pace distribution. The highest bar is 17:27 - 16:57, roughly that 17:30 - 17:00 pace that kept coming up. The bar just to the right is 16:57 - 16:28, so I did manage to spend some time well above plan.


Trainingpeaks likes zones, so here are my pace zones. I don't actually use them for planning, but it may come in useful some day. Zone 1 is 0 - 17:25, and zone 2, 17:25 - 15:24. I spent 37% of my time in zone 1 and 53% in zone 2.


Last but not least, the time based graph. The slight loss in elevation is due to barometric changes. I avoid using altitude correction because the errors are significant going around Diamond Head Road. The left side is virtually flat until you get to Monsarrat, where you climb up to the stratosphere. There are a few crazy spikes in pace (green line). No, I was not sprinting to the aid stations. Those are caused by the GPS signal bouncing off tall buildings.


Now for the usual schedule stuff. Right off the bat I am happy to report that my recent bike work has not gone unnoticed. WKO4 has increased my modeled FTP from 169 to 178 watts. I will wait a couple weeks to see if it holds before changing my threshold setting. This is what I want to see more of on the way to CTTS.

My weekly ramp rate charts show clearly the taper for Hapalua and ending in the race itself. I was not supposed to cut back that much but I had to rest my sore leg.




A close-up of the PMC reveals more detail. The falling purple line indicates a reduction in activity, the rising yellow line shows the resulting increase in restfulness (decrease in fatigue), and the blue line shows fitness.


Now we pull back and view the PMC with more h9istory and predicting results out to CTTS.


Another useful chart is the Power-Duration (PD) chart from WKO4. This track is for cycling only, to show what needs work for CTTS. The short duration power over on the left could use some work, but the main goal is raising the middle portion and extending the sustained duration off to the right past where it now drops off around the two hour mark. I will be coming back to the PD chart a lot in coming weeks.


Last week

ATP: 450 TSS
Planned:415.5
Actual:383.1 (most of this was the race)

This Week

Week of 4/10 - Transition/Build 1 week 1
Focus: Recovery, bike
ATP:450
Planned:435.4
Mon
AM Rest
PM Strength with Dorian

Tue
AM Run, recovery
PM Swim, OW

Wed
AM Run, recovery
PM Bike, spin class

Thu
AM Strength with Dorian
PM Yoga

Fri - (day off work) 
Bike, 40 mi Kahala - Kailua

Sat
Rest - concert

Sun
Brick, bike + run

Next race: 2 weeks,Haleiwa Metric Century, 4 weeks to Honolulu Triathlon
10 weeks until CTTS.