Winter Training Summary

Posted on January 28, 2011

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I’m in my final few days of training in the snow before I head down to my 4th annual “Someplace Warm” training camp. This year that warm place is Clermont, FL, home of Jarrod Shoemaker and Alicia Kaye, the Ironman-dominating Raelert Brothers, and a growing population of pro triathletes. Like last year, I will be renting a condo with my former Wolverine tri teammate Doug MacLean. Clermont is home to a National Training Center where I’ll be doing my swimming. The terrain is hilly (for Florida) which will keep the riding interesting, and I’m also told I’ll be pretty close to a network of clay trails. I’m looking forward to getting in some solid, consistent training. And best of all, my first race of the year, USAT Sprint Nationals, will be held in Clermont on March 5th. I love being able to not travel for a race.

Me and Doug: Tucson '10

I kicked off my winter training with the annual New England Masters Swimming Championships held at Boston University on the 2nd weekend in December. I swam pitifully slow, but that was to be expected after being in the water for only three weeks (and I fit in 24 miles of running into the weekend along with 14 events). I do this meet because it’s a ton of fun. After competing in an individual sport all year it’s fun to be part of a team working together to try to win a team title. It was a big success – Minuteman Masters had a huge turnout and we were able to win the NEM championship. I was 5th overall in the high point standings. I swam slower than I have in the past in every single event except the 200m fly (2:27). I’ll take it!

NEM Champs 2010!

The week after BU was my 4th week back into training and a recovery week. That weekend I drove down to Worcester, Mass to hang out with Courtney and Pat Wheeler, and to test my fitness with a 5k. The Central Mass Striders host a very small 5k at a high school in Worcester just about every week. It’s a pretty low profile event, but they are sponsored by Polar (not the heart rate company), so there’s free flavored seltzer water to all participants! (Totally made the drive to Worcester worth it!). Anyway, I won pretty handily and split 5:16, 5:10, 5:20, but ended up running 16:46 because I took a wrong turn. I was right on target and maybe even a little faster than my coach Jesse had expected me to be.

Four weeks later, I had another solid training block under my belt and was officially done with my eight week base phase. I had been in the weight room twice per week this whole time and had steadily built my run mileage to about 50/wk. I was able to crush my personal bests from my lifting sessions last year, so hopefully that’s a sign of good things to come. At the end of this 8 week base phase, Jesse had me come down to W. Roxbury for a threshold test on the bike. That was painful! The protocol is to start riding on the computrainer at 200 watts or thereabouts and up the wattage every minute until you simply can’t pedal anymore. My threshold came in at around 315w, which is a 10 watt increase from last year at this same phase in my training cycle. Again, things are on track.

I’m now just finishing up the second week in a three week strength phase. I’m doing a lot of paddle swimming, low cadence and tempo work on the bike, and hill and tempo run workouts. I’m beginning to see some real progress, especially in my run paces. I’m also starting to go a bit harder in the pool. I’ve had a couple workouts in the past week where I’ve done some 100s (LCM) on a 1:10 or 1:15 base. If I can come into this season swimming as well as I was at the end of last season I’m going to be in really good shape.

So that’s the past 10 weeks of training! On Sunday after my long run I’ll pack up the car and start driving South. I’ll hopefully make it to Washington DC that night and then spread out the driving over another couple days to arrive in Clermont sometime on Tuesday Feb 1st. Over these three days I’m betting I’ll drink somewhere between 15-25 cups of green tea. I don’t function without green tea, especially in the cold. Sometimes hotels have tea out in the lobby, and I raid their supplies like crazy. Anyway, enough about tea. In two weeks I’m flying back up to MA to compete in the Team Psycho Indoor Time Trial. I love indoor time trials, and I haven’t lost one in over two years. Hopefully I can keep that streak alive on Feb 12th.

Too much time indoors!

Posted in: Training