Who is Ted?

I'm the father of two beautiful daughters and an amazing wife. For fun, I enjoy the long hours of seemingly endless suffering that endurance sports (mostly running, cycling and triathlon)provide. During my "down time" I'm an avid beer snob and self-described gourmet chef (in other words I like to burn things on a stove or grill).

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Beer of the Week!


Nothing says Ironman training like beer!  Okay, maybe that's not exactly true, but good beer is a nice treat after all of those many miles of swimming, biking, and running.  Besides, writing only about training can get a bit dull.  And since it's summer (like winter, spring and fall, a good time to drink beer), why not contemplate a few of the beers that I've been sampling?  The first offering is . . . Sierra Nevada's Hop Hunter IPA (6.2% ABV, 60 IBU).  If you don't like Hops, this is a good place to stop reading.  This beer has a very wet, pungent hop essence.  It contains a "hop oil" that S.N. utilizes to add to the intensity of the hop flavor.  While the citrus and floral notes are still present in the nose, the hop oil adds a density to the taste.    If you don't love the flavor that hops impart, you won't like this beer.  For the rest of us, it's an enjoyable brew.  Maybe not quite sessionable , but definitely worth picking up a six pack.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Tres


Back in January I started counting down until IM Boulder. This morning as I write, there are only 89 more days (roughly 12 weeks) until race day.  If you calculate rest days (at least one a week), plus a few other days where I know I won't fit in training due to travel, other commitments, etc., that number starts to drop to about 70 days of training.   Oops!  I forgot to factor in tapering.  Let's make it about 65 days when all is said and done (and that's assuming I'm not sick or injured during the next couple of months).  For the last several months, I've done everything I could to get in position for some serious Ironman Training.  I think that's the difference moving forward.  If April was the start of transitioning to more "race specific" (read: longer endurance) work, May launches me head first into that world.  But before I delve into what's ahead, let's take a look back at the last several weeks to see what April was like.

Overall: In April, we were blessed with a lot of nice weather, and this gave me an opportunity to get in some longer rides outside.  I continued to use the trainer each week, but at least three of my four long rides were done outside.  The last, was an 82 miler I did the last weekend of the month.  I also did a bit more running this past month with a couple of long runs of 8 and 10 miles (today is 12 miles) as I begin to ramp up the running again.  So for the month of April I swam 13,000 yards, rode 412 miles on the bike, and ran 42 miles.  I completed 30 out of 33 planned workouts for approximately a 91% completion rate.

Swimming: In April I swam a bit less than March, but continued to stretch my morning workouts a bit.  With only two swims a week, there's still something to be desired, but they've stretched from 1500 yard sessions, to around 2000 on most days.  I will continue to shoot for some longer swims in May, leading into the summer.

Biking: I cycled 3-4 times a week, depending on what my running plans were.  The average time and distance increased while the frequency remained the same.  During the week, I usually had a couple of 1 hour sessions done using Trainer Road.  One was interval focused intense trainer ride, and another was more of a "sweet spot" workout.  On the weekends, I alternated between two consecutive long rides (around 55 miles each) or one longer ride followed by a longer run the next day.  The bike course for IM Boulder was also revealed a couple of weeks back and that will have an impact on my training choices.  The new course has about 5100 feet of elevation gain, with short punchy climbs.  While the gain in elevation isn't drastically different than they year before, the brief "ups" and "downs" will certainly be different.
2014 IM Boulder Bike Course

2015 IM Boulder Bike Course
Running:  During April, I started to slowly reintroduce a long run as part of my training.  I'm shooting to do one of these at least every other week and build up to about 20 miles before IM Boulder.  With the amount of time I have until the race, I'm on a good pace to do that.   I've slowed my overall pace a tad as well, and most of my running is just a touch under 9:00 minutes/ mile.  I certainly expect that my Ironman pace will be slower than that, but since a lot of my running is isolated at the moment, I can handle a bit faster pace.  As I mentioned before I have 12 miles scheduled today, and so it will be a good test to see where I'm at.  There's also a forecast of about 82 degrees as well, so this will give me a taste of some "heat" training.

Up Next: In May, I'll be adding more long workouts on the weekend.  A typical ride will now be at least 50 miles, and this will often be followed by some longer running off of the bike.  My "during the week activities" will stay about the same. One thing I'm going to definitely do however, is build in a recovery week after every third week of training.  At the end of April, I had one built in, and I was so thankful that was the case.  Going into the week, I felt completely spent and the quality of my workouts was suffering to the point that I had little energy to put into them.  I didn't even manage to make it to the pool in the morning, and so I was grateful that I didn't have a bunch of key workouts scheduled that I would have had to scrub.  Taking it a bit easier for a week means I now get to start the next phase feeling refreshed, motivated and ready to go.  A month from now, I'll be at the start of June and with it will be the beginnings of Summer "Vacation" (I'll still be working quite a bit, but without the same frenzy that the end of the school year brings).   The month will be challenging, but I feel ready to go to the next phase.  Bring it on!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Four!


Geez!  Where did the last month go? It seems like I was just sitting down to write about my progress with five months to go until Ironman.  Now here it is, the first week of April already.  So here is a recap for the month of March.
Swim:  I managed 10 swim workouts in March.  Two of those were longer swims over Spring Break including a 4000 yard swim that I did as part of a brick.  In total I managed a bit over 5 hours of swimming and about 15,000 yards.  My average pace for these workouts was usually somewhere between 1:50 and 2:00 per 100 (except when I was doing speedier sets).  I seem to be maintaining the swim which is about all I can do right now given my schedule.  I will have a few more options after Memorial Day when the pool at the club is open, and once summer starts, I'll be able to increase those workouts a bit.
Bike:  It was a good month for riding as I got just under 400 miles for the month, which is by far the most I've done in a long time.  A good portion of my riding was done outdoors thanks to some great weather during the month.  I even finished off with a 68 mile ride where I managed a +19 mph pace overall.  Last weekend, I did an FTP test using Trainer Road and my "virtual power" came in at 207 watts, which was an improvement from January when I was at 196 watts.   Back in December, I'd started at about 182 watts, so I feel good about the improvement I'm making.    During the week I'll continue to push the intensity a bit using the Trainer Road  workouts.  There is a wide variety but I'm going to utilize more of the interval sets that have me pushing longer amounts of time close to my FTP (e.g.- 3x10' sets at 95-99% FTP over the course of an hour).  On Saturdays and Sundays I will start to do some longer outdoor rides on the weekends (weather permitting) and work up to a 75 mile ride before enjoying a recovery week at the end of the month.  I "splurged" and upgraded my helmet as well.  I'm now the proud owner of a bright yellow Giro Air Attack Shield Helmet.  It's a very versatile aero helmet (can be used for daily riding) and it has a visor that attaches magnetically to the front of the helmet.  While I've only managed a couple of rides with it so far, it has been wonderful to have.  My glasses would always slip down my face, and I'd never really get the benefit of the lenses because the angle of my head had me peering over the top of the rims.  The visor provides a full uninterrupted view which makes it much easier to ride in the aero position.
Run: I ran a bit less than 30 miles during the entire month of March.  While less mileage was part of my overall plan, I fought a bit of illness returning from NYC in the middle of the month and cut one or two runs a bit shorter.  That said, I don't feel too bad about where my run fitness is.  Even with the limited amount of running, my performance on the run has gotten better, not worse.  I've gone back to a 5:1 approach on my last two runs and discovered that I'm feeling excellent with little to no fatigue. Even taking it a bit easier than before, I'm still well below my goal paces for IM Boulder.  In April, I'll be introducing some more long runs into my training as well as a mid-week run that's a bit longer than before.  Some of this running will include some tempo and interval work just to keep it interesting, but I also hope to be sure that my easier days are well, easier.
Nutrition: This wasn't too great during the month of March.  I haven't gone back to doughnuts or passkey, but I could definitely do a better job with the food that I'm taking in.  I'm maintaining a decent weight so there isn't concern there, but I could probably cut back on some of the junk and overindulgence.  Most of these issues revolve around extra helpings at dinner, too much dessert, and of course, putting back maybe 1-2 more beers than is necessary!  The last one is particularly difficult given all of the delicious choices out there!
The coming month will be an interesting mix as I start to increase the volume of several individual workouts (longer rides and swims).  This month and next are a bit of a transition as I work into steadily longer distance workouts.    As the race draws closer, I'm getting more and more excited.  If the next four months are anything like the last one, it will be hear before I know it!