Sunday, July 25, 2010

Strawberry Fields Race Report

The 2010 Strawberry Fields Triathlon Festival was last Sunday, July 18th.

I did this same event last year and this year I improved my time by over 10 minutes!

The Swim

Prior to the swim, we had to take a short walk down the beach to the starting point.  The swim took us a few hundred yards out, then we swam parallel to the shore before turning back and swimming in towards the beach.

The map below shows the course - don't mind all the squiggly lines and loops - Even though the Garmin 310xt is waterproof, it can't get a gps signal while underwater, so it's constantly finding and losing satellite signal during the swim. 

My swim time was not particularly good.  I normally expect to finish 1.5k in less than 30 minutes.  But it was a relatively rough sea, and I did beat my time from last year by about 5 minutes, so I was pretty happy with it overall.

I also used some TYR anti-fog spray to eliminate the fogging problem I had at the Breath of Life Triathlon a few weeks ago.

Swim distance: 1500 Meters
Swim Time: 35:37
(Last year swim time: 41:17)

The Bike

T1 took 2:40.  Not great, not bad.  19 seconds faster than last year.

The bike course is a little short at Strawberry Fields, so the official times always look blazing fast.  My bike split this year was 1:04:40.  It was about 1 minute slower than last year.  Not so surprising since last year was a bike focus year for me, and by July I had just finished training for a double century, so my bike fitness was probably a bit higher in 2009.

The Run

T2 was 0:44:42.  About 5 seconds faster than last year.

The 10k run was the highlight of my race.  I started out with a 7:15 mile that seemed entirely too easy. I was worried that I might be going to fast, but it felt so good that I just kept the pace - for the entire 10k!  My 10k split was 44:42.  Almost 6 minutes faster than last year.

Also, as you can see by all the data I collected on my Garmin, I actually figured out how to use multisport mode on the 310xt and captured every bit of my race.

Total time: 2:28:56
(last years time: 2:39:29)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Motivational Movie Monday

This is the last week of the Tour de France, so please enjoy one more cycling motivational clip.

Lance is out of podium contention for this years Tour, but I've heard rumors that he's going to do Kona next year.  I suspect he'll get his butt kicked there too, but I love the idea of how much publicity it would bring to our sport.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wednesday Bike Intervals

Wednesday is Bike Interval day with a short (30 min) brick run after the bike.

Yesterday's assignment was:

Warm Up: 10-15 minutes Easy,
then 3 x 1min intervals with 1 minute rest in between.

Main Set 2 x 12min intervals with 5 minutes rest in between @ FTP
(Basically 12 minutes fast, then 5 min recovery, then repeat)

My current FTP is around 210 watts. (That's the highest watts I can hold steady for 20+ minutes)

Here's the power graph from yesterday's ride.

I marked a red line at the 210 watts mark on the graph.  That's the mark I was trying to hit and hold during each of the intervals.  So the graph shows about 15 minutes of warm up, then the three short 1 minute intervals, followed by the two longer, 12 minute intervals.

I love training with power. It takes the guess work out of the equation, and I always know how hard I'm working regardless of road conditions, hills, or wind. 210 watts is always 210 watts no matter what the speedometer says.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

18.5 weeks to go

Ironman Arizona training is in full swing now.  I'm in my second week of a 20 week Ironman training plan purchased from Endurance Nation.

The typical week looks like this:

Monday - Swim
Tuesday - Interval Run
Wednesday - Interval Bike + Run (Brick)
Thursday - Swim, Long Run
Friday - Swim
Saturday - Long Bike
Sunday - Bike + Run (Brick)

Then every 4 weeks, there's a testing week to check progress and establish new pace and power numbers.

So today for example, I have a 1hr bike interval session with a 30 minute run off the bike.  I do the weekly bike interval sessions on my CompuTrainer so I can set the exact interval difficulty and duration

Last week I completed a 1.5k swim on Monday
Half-mile hill intervals (running) on Tuesday
1.5k swim and 17miles of interval work on the bike on Wednesday
1.5k swim and 80min run on Thursday
Friday was a rest day for me (which is why I added the extra swim on Wed)
68 mile ride on Saturday
and a 30 mile ride followed by a 10k run on Sunday.

The volume is still relatively low (about 11hrs for week 1), but the intensity is pretty high.  Those interval workouts are especially killer.

I'm capturing all of my run and bike workouts on my Garmin 310xt.  By capturing all of my bike and run data, I'm able to see a Training Stress Score (TSS) for those workouts.  The TSS is calculated by Training Peaks Software and basically factors in the intensity and duration of a run or bike and assigns a score.  As my fitness increases, I adjust my baseline numbers in TrainingPeaks so the Intensity Factor (IF) is adjusted.  As the weeks progress, I need to go faster or farther in order to earn the same number of TSS points.  

I'm looking forward to the first testing week so I can gauge my progress.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010

Breath of Life Olympic Triathlon Race Report

Last Sunday I finished the Breath of Life Ventura, Olympic Distance Triathlon.

The 30-39 mens age-group was the first wave and we started promptly at 7:15am.  I love it when races start on time!

The swim was in a protected harbor, so other than the fact that we were swimming in salt water, it was more like a lake swim than an ocean swim.  It was a relatively easy 1500k out and back swim.  My only problem during the swim was my goggles kept fogging up, and it was pretty overcast so I had to stop several times and de-fog my goggles to make sure I was heading in a straight line.

Swim time: 28:31

T1 was uneventful, but the transition area was long and narrow so it took a little while to get from one end of the transition area to the other.

T1 time: 3:09

The bike section was flat, fast and fun!  There was a short out-and-back section on Harbor Blvd with a 3-loop circuit in-between for a total of just over 25 miles (a little longer than a standard 40k course).

I averaged 20.4mph on the bike section with each loop of the circuit faster than the previous.

Bike time: 1:19:42

T2 time: 1:13

The run was also flat and fast.  My average pace was 7:44 and I finished the (slightly long) run in 49:46.

My finishing time was 2:38:00.  That put me in 179th place overall.  This was an age-group championship qualifying race, so there were a LOT of fast athletes out there.

The only two problems I encountered during the race were my fogged goggles, and the fact that I didn't put my Garmin 310xt into multi-sport mode so each lap was tracked as "Other" instead of correctly labeling each lap as Swim, Bike, or Run.  Since both issues are fixable, I really can't complain.

Next race is Strawberry Fields on July 18.