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).

Sunday, February 8, 2015

1 Month Down, 6 to go

It's still half a year, but somehow that milestone makes it feel very real! This past Monday marked the 6th month countdown to Ironman, a good time to do an update on my progress so far.  Overall, it has been a busy January and I've worked hard to start locking in those important habits in terms of training and nutrition that will pay off this summer.  It hasn't been perfect, but I feel that overall I'm off to a good start.

My January goal-  For the month of January my goal was to develop consistent training habits and not "miss" workouts unless I was injured or sick.  With about 32 workouts planned for the entire month, this was going to be no small feat to accomplish, especially with the long hours of work and some travel at the end of the month.  In the end I managed to hit 28 of those workouts, which is right around a 87% completion rate.  The workouts that I missed came at the end of the month when I battled a stomach illness for several days during my trip back east.  Thinking I was better, I did manage to get an hour ride on the exercise bike at  the hotel, only to be struck back down later that evening. It was a shitty experience . . . literally!  As a result, I didn't get the strong start into February that I'd hoped as I wound up taking about four days off just to make sure I could jump back into training closer to 100%.  

T.I.T.S.- My biggest focus area for training this year is "the bike."  I plan to spend more time on the bike, but I'm also working at riding with more intensity.  Through my first 5 years of triathlon training, I've put in plenty of miles to be sure, but they've tended to be longer rides or lower intensity.  What's more, they've tended to be spread out to the point where I might only ride 1-2 times over the course of a week.  Since I've added Trainer Road, I've upped that just a bit to at least 3 times a week although February calls for 4 rides a week.  These rides have been the most consistently intense rides that I've done.  From FTP tests, to Over and Under Intervals, to longer intervals, I'm riding at a much more intense level than I have before.  As a result, the rides are supplanting my running for the month to a certain extent.  I'm still running but that too is at a shorter distance with a little more intensity. A fair number of these runs are "off the bike" runs.  These aren't full "brick" workouts, just an attempt to stay comfortable running after cycling.  Looking back a year, I rode 9 times in January for a total of 150 miles. This year, my January totals were 12 rides with a total of 238 miles (I would have added another 60-80 miles had I not been sick).  For me, those are fairly high numbers when I look at my total volume over the last year.

Nutrition- At the beginning of January, I made a commitment to try and eat a lot better.  I had no plans to go Vegan or Paleo or anything of that nature.  I just wanted to try and eat better portions and healthier meals overall.  This has gone very well as I've found myself eating a lot more fruits and vegetables, and just cutting back quite a bit on junk.  When I do indulge, I'm trying to limit my intake a little bit, so if I decide to have some ice cream, I'll have a small dish instead of a giant bowl.  By eating more fruits and vegetables, and limiting my portions, I've found that I feel much better on a day to day basis.  My appetite has subsided a bit so I don't feel ravenous every time I sit down for a meal.  Between the training and the healthier eating, I've lost a fair amount of weight in the last month (about 12-15 lbs), a bit more than I'd like in fact, so I'll be looking at getting a few more calories into my daily diet.

Conclusion- Am I where I'd expected to be at the end of a month's training?  Well, I'd say I'm close. Even though I haven't managed to hit all of my training targets to a tee, I'm certainly there in terms of spirit.  Last month I only missed workouts due to not feeling well.  I've even managed to get up and get a few 5:00 a.m. workouts done, proving that an Ironman distance race is a great motivator! At any rate, I'm close enough to where I want to be to move into the next month of training with confidence.

Looking ahead- February is my month to really dial in those bike rides.  After adjusting for the time off in the first few days of the month, I'm looking at about 13 rides totaling a little over 300 miles.   Running and swimming are consistent but not a focus for the month.  In terms of nutrition, I will continue to eat healthy and manage portions.  I'm also going to work at taking in more nutrition/ hydration during exercise.  I've tended to neglect this aspect of my training, but I understand that I won't be able to just "get by" come Ironman.  Now is a good time to start experimenting with different options to see what will help maintain my energy levels without upsetting my stomach.  Today, I hope to get in my first ride outdoors since last September.  It will be interesting to see how it feels being out on the road instead of stuck in the basement on a trainer!

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