Thursday, September 20, 2007

In transition

It's that time of the year where triathlon race season comes to an end and yet all the wonderful strength and speed I obtained from training and racing can't be given up just quit yet. I am not ready to put away the swim suit or hang up the bike or put away the running shoes. I will continue to swim, bike, run, and whatever else that relates to being active before I pursue my off season training. The "in transition" phase of training will last until mid November followed by 2 weeks of total rest. I'll then start my off season training of building up a base of swimming, biking, running, and strength training.

To help me in my swim schedule during this time I am using for some structured workouts. I am hoping to ride the roads as much as I can and to ride the new mountain bike trail near my home. My wife and I are finding great hiking trails to walk and to get us in Grand Canyon shape. The trails are also looking good to run on. We walked barefoot on the Tree Farm Trail in the valley this past weekend. The trail was soft and smooth. I am planing on running the 2.75 trail barefoot this fall. I signed up for the World Wide Half Marathon which is a free run in October. Since, I plan on running about that distance on the weekends anyway I thought I might as well sign up to make my run more memorable.

Sorry for the mishap on my blog. I registered with a new and easier to remember URL.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My first mountain bike ride

Hats off to CAMBA for collaborating with the Cleveland Metro Parks for building the first and only official mountain biking trail. I found this trail during the week when I was out on my road bike doing hill repeats at the Canal Way visitor center. And today I had the opportunity to check it out. This was my first time, since as a kid, that I rode my bike on dirt trails.
I started from my house and rode to the trail head which was a little over 4 miles from my house. I rode the short beginner loop and enjoyed the ease of the ride. I then took the intermediate loop with caution to get the feel of the difficult rolling terrain. After finishing the first loop I started my watch and rode the loop again to see how fast I could ride the loop. I rode with less stopping and walking the hills and fast enough to get my heart rate up. While maneuvering the switch backs and climbing I could feel my arms getting a good workout. I completed the 2+ mile loop in 15:03. The 15:03 is the bench mark for me to break the next time I come out and ride this fun trail.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I ran with Lance

Today's run workout was an audio download on my ipod from Carmichael Training Systems.
My run began with a 10 minute easy jog to the local college track and then 5 by 20 second stride outs. Coach Chris Carmichael explained the workout and would direct the times of when to speed up and when to jog/walk the recoveries. During coach Carmichael and Lance Armstrong's encouragements, selected music that they chose, played in the background to keep me motivated.

The main set began with a 4 minute run at tempo pace followed by 2 minute recovery jog. The intervals increased by 2 minutes up to 12 minutes yet recovery time remained at 2 minutes. The way I monitored my pace was by keeping my heart rate at 140 beats per minute. I also had my GPS watch to monitor my pace, distance, and laps.
Cool down was an easy 10 minute jog. Total workout time was 1:03:18 for 9.5 miles at a 6:40 pace.

This was a novel run with an ipod coach and soundtrack. I had fun with it and would do it again.

If you want to do the tempo interval workout click on this link to register and download the 2 free workouts.

Next week I'll run with Lance to do the speed workout.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Triathlon Season Finale

The Findlay Lake Sprint triathlon was my final race for the 2007 season. I think it was the most fun I had in doing a triathlon this year. The morning started out with thunderstorms and heavy downpours at times which lasted until 6:45 am. At that time the clouds cleared and we even saw the sun peak through before 8:00 am.

The lake was warm and calm. We started the swim on the other side of the yellow line and we swam to the yellow buoys on our right until we got to the orange buoy where we turned back to swim to shore. The weird thing about the man made lake was when you first got in you felt like you were sinking in some black miry quick sand. This black sooty stuff floated up your legs and turned the area all black. I just made sure not to swallow any water. After we swam out for about 20 feet the water was normal. I felt strong during the swim and I finished the 1/4 miles in 9:38.

As you can see from the photo, by not have much equipment to mess with in transitions both my T1 and T2's were fast. My T1 was 36 seconds. My last post about transitions helped me to focus on keeping it simple in my transitions. I racked my bike on the last rack near the bike exit. This way I didn't have to run far with my bike.
With all the rain we had the roads were wet. I was very careful to take all corners SLOW. We also had 4 rail road crossings and 1 train that I almost got caught by and two gravel patchy areas we had to ride on. I met people that flatted and slid off their bikes due to the conditions but I managed to have fun and push the pace to finish 14.6 miles in 40:56 averaging around 21 miles per hour. My T2 time was a blazing 13 seconds. Ha, Beat that.

The run was a beautiful wet and muddy undulating trail. I loved running fast on muddy trails slipping and almost falling all over the place. I finished the trail run in 20:58 with an overall time of 1:12:55 and placing 6th out of 111 and 1st in the 45-49 age group. See race results link.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Bacpacking Tracy Ridge

Labor Day weekend my wife and I took my son, grandson and his cousin backpacking in the Allegheny's on a 9 mile hike of the Tracy Ridge Trail. We arrived at the trail head around 2:30 in the afternoon on Sunday and began hiking around 2:45. The hike was an easy down hill and we made it to our camp site around 4:30 pm. We had plenty of time for the boys to set up the tents, play in the reservoir, and gather wood for a nice camp fire.

On Monday we had to hike 6 miles back to the car. We took our time and let the boys set the pace. The trail would lead us back down to the reservoir after about 3 miles walking and it was the perfect time for the boys to take the plunge and get refreshed. The challenge was still ahead of us because we had to hike 3 miles back up the trail to our car. The boys led the pace and we took plenty of stops along the way.

I really was impressed with the boys because this was a physical challenge that they have never done before and they enjoyed it. The closest thing to complaining was when they would ask how much time it would take us to the next trail marker.

After a great time we had backpacking the boys got to eat a big meal from the only half way decent restaurant we found in Warren PA called Perkins. These 9 year old boys had steak, buffalo chicken wraps, quesadilla's and other treats. They got in the car well feed and for most of the 4 hour ride home they slept like a log.

We plan on coming back maybe in the fall to hike more of this trail.

Triathlon Transition Movie

Follow this link to download a great movie clip on a through study of improving your transition times. It is from the author of Tri-Talk Podcast shows.

Training has been going at a relaxed pace. Our rec center at the university is open for guest to come in for free during the first 2 weeks of the start of the semester to try it out. I have been taking advantage of the spin classes, beginner and intermediate yoga classes, power abs class, and all the fancy weight machines. I thought I'd be the only male in the yoga class but found there to be a good mix of male and females taking the class. I was the only male in the power abs class but I didn't mind because those women sure know how to work those abs. Mine were sore the next day. I noticed the power sculpt class had only women in it but they looked like they were having fun with the stepper and weights. If my schedule works out this week I'll take the class and be the only guy in there.

We went backpacking over the Labor Day weekend and I will write and include pictures about our trip in a day or so.