Sunday, November 6, 2011

Nice ride today

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Location:NE Hoyt St,Portland,United States

Monday, September 20, 2010

2010 Race Season Wrap up

Well my 4th Triathlon season of focused training has wrapped up. As with most Triathletes (most of the time) it was a mixed bag.
I felt I had 2:07 in me, but the best I eeked out it 2:09. So I am pleased I broke the 2:10 barrier and I will keep chipping away

Most importantly I feel I have learned a lot this season which I can apply in the future. Not everything that I have learned will make me a faster athlete, but perhaps a happier person

I did most of the local Portland short course triathlons and nothing
spectacular happened for me. Most of the races after blue lake (first
race of the season) I found myself wanting to go home and go back to
bed in the middle of the race - not a good sign. Certainly work and
family commitments played a part in that.

Here is what I have learned this year in no particular order:

1) Keep it fun - if it ain't fun why am I doing it? I am not going to be a pro and my priorities are to have a balanced life without wearing down my body and energy to where I am stressed out. Also if I am constantly missing fun bike races or other events because I am training so specifically then this is something to look at. Even if I don't do as well at a race I have to make sure I have my triathlon goals are aligned with enjoying training and racing.

2)Training harder doesn'tt necessarily make you faster at triathlon
and training smarter is key

3) Following a written plan without adapting it constantly to how you
feel is not training smartly. This opens the question on how you use
a coach without constant communication ...which is not
always practical unless you pay someone 300 + dollars a month and have
a great fit.

4) Be careful with track workouts. Especially if you are tall and if
it affects your flexibility/recovery/energy

5) Running: tempo runs are bread and butter. I like the 25 mins at
zone 4 then 10 min easy then 20 mins hard that coach Grant prescribed
earlier in the season.

6) Bike - do a few 60 min time trials followed by run and allow
enough recovery time for it prior to race day. I know Grant doesn't
agree with me here. I lack some bike base and strength which makes
running a slower process after. My hips take a beating especially.

7) Bike - Long bike rides can definitely be beneficial even for short
course if you lack base and bike strength. There needs to be a good
mix of intensity and hours in the saddle.

8) Swim - swimming 3 times a week adds aerobic base and helps you all
around if you need more aerobic fitness. It also helps you feel
stronger the rest of tour race If you have a good swim base.

9) Endurance - us amateur short course athletes often forget an
Olympic distance triathlon is still an endurance sport. We need speed,
strength, and flexibility...but we need the heart and lungs to let us
run after the swim and bike is over. This brings up the next point.

10) For days where it works, I really benefit from double workouts
even if shorter and if low/moderate intensity. The second workout
causes adaptation as you are already carrying a "load" into the
workout. The only downside is...more showers and messing about.
Finding efficiency in getting the workouts done is key (not wasting
time for prep and showering). For me those days might be the days
where Kacy doesn't work and I don't have the same child care
responsibilities. Also begs the question if I would benefit in having
a treadmill at home which I could use when I am watching the kid (soon
to be kids) after work or when they are asleep early in the morning.

11) Flexibility and recovery. Important especially for taller folks
like myself. I will be focusing on how I feel more next season and
will be stretching each and every day well as incorporating foam
rollers (hot tub, etc), ice, and massage where needed.

Next I will be training for cross season while building up a good base
again after taking a week off training in Hawaii. I plan on enjoying
myself and hopefully finding some longer rides and runs as well. A new
carbon road bike will help build my inspiration no doubt! :) Drop me a
line especially if you want to ride long.

Happy training..

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sam Manages 2:09:17 at Blue Lake Triathlon

After a solid 6 months of training I managed to PR this year at Blue Lake.
The swim went pretty well. I found a big guy to draft, he could have gone a little faster and a little straighter..but all in all not too shabby a swim at 25:07. I did not push too hard and I was in control the whole time.

Transition went well and I had plenty of energy left. I was not hypoxia induced or dizzy for the first time. I managed a decent T1 time even while falling down when the wet suit snagged my timing chip strap around my ankle. I will need to find a way to avoid that for the next race.

Bike went well. I managed to average over 25mph and came in at 59:48. I felt pretty fatigued a few times during the bike. Might have pushed a little too hard to start. I ended up almost drinking my entire bottle. That gave me good energy, however I ended-up having stomach cramps on the run. There is something magical about breaking the 60 minute barrier in a triathlon for the first time. It is very satisfying. Sorry Steve (inside Joke as he did 1:00:01). The bike split was the bright part of my race and what I am most happy with. Being most pleased with my bike leg is strange and unexpected as I am a natural runner.

T2 went pretty well. It was a very very muddy rainy day. The transition area was a real mess. The run did not go so well however. I ran around 41:30 and I am in good running shape. I was hoping to come in around 38-39 minutes as I can run a 36 min. stand-alone 10k. Last year I managed 40 mins. on the run and was hoping to improve on that.

All in all, I will take the sub 2:10 result and am happy with my race overall. I have some easy gains on the run if I can find a way to run "better off the bike" in the future. Swimming and biking will also improve over time. I can see 2:07 right around the corner. Something to shoot for!

Hopefully next year I will be able to get top 20. This year I missed an Age Group Medal by 10 seconds and a spot in next years elite wave by 2 spots. Oh well! :) Bye for now.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sam finishes in the Top 10 at Portland City Triathon

2009 Final Wrap-up & Thoughts

As the race season for 2009 did not go as expected I lost the motivation to even update my blog. Because of that I never posted my race report for my last few races. Although I did not reach my PR goal this year, I did achieve a Top 10 finish at the Portland Triathlon (Olympic distance). The Portland City Triathlon is a very challenging and extremely hilly bike course with multiple laps which include steep climbs and rollers. As I have mentioned earlier, I have been plagued with Stomach cramps all season and it seems I am able to suffer through the discomfort on those courses that have hills (as I am not in the same position constantly on the bike). Because of this, the only two races I had decent results at where both B or C races on hilly course this year.

Right now, I am not following a training schedule and enjoying the off season. I pretty much train when I feel like it. I am in the process of joining a master's swim team (Barracudas) and am also changing coaches. January 1st I will be working with Grant Folske. Click here to see a short bio on Grant. Due to a price increase with Scott and the ability to have a coach in the same city I decided on the switch. At my level, $200 a month with Scott was not the right thing (especially since Kacy is studying these days).

2009 was overall a disappointment due to stomach issues on the run (and on the bike to some degree). I did not reach my goal of sub 2:10 although I felt I did reach the fitness level required to achieve 2:10. In keeping with my goal of reducing my time 2-3 mins each year - my 2010 goal will be sub 2:08. In order to pull that off I have to get stronger and faster still in addition to learning a proper swim technique.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hagg Lake Race Report - 3rd Place in Age Group

Overall, not a bad race for me: . I won 3rd in Age Group (30-34) & did a fair swim, bike, and run on this very hilly and challenging course. My time was 2:18:53 - an improvement from last year's result which was 2:23:13. An improvement of about 4 minutes which is on-track with my goal of improving my Olympic distance time of 3 minutes per year. If anything I would have liked to go a bit faster on the bike -- but after putting in 22 hours the previous week at a Bend training camp -- I decided to be pleased. Technically (transitions, etc) this race was perfect. No major mistakes including "nutrition" this time.. Although my race at Blue Lake was flawless, my pre-race nutrition plan had killed my A race of the year. Oh Well.

I went with the 900 calorie "liquid breakfast" this time. Can't say it was the most delicious breakfast I have ever had. I also did not feel "satiated" and maybe a little nausea even -- from not having any real food to counteract the coffee.
1) Swim (25:53): I was not "really feeling motivated" on the swim. I swam about a minute slower than my time at Blue Lake. Almost felt like I was asleep. Mentally I was in a daze from training a lot. Found some feet about 10 mins into the swim (for a draft) after being bumped around by side-ways swimming "weekend warriors", then eased into the swim. Used some techniques from the open water camp (wide pull on outside of feet when I got very close). I figured the guy I was drafting was an OK swimmer because he was not wearing a wet-suit. Sure enough he went straight as an arrow at an even pace. My heart rate was in control coming into T1 from getting a good draft and not working very hard.. Even had a chance to look around and smile at some on-lookers who where cheering for me. Clearly this was not my A race and I was pretty relaxed (although I felt like I needed a nap constantly on the swim and bike). I was still pretty dizzy from the swim so I did identify those cheering for me (however you were, thanks!).
2) Bike (1:08:31): Again, not feeling very motivated on the bike. I have been low on energy and have had trouble getting up in the mornings. Got on the bike and felt like I needed a nap. Definitely in a training "hole". No one passing me and making me push harder for most of the race, so it felt somewhat like a scenic ride although I am pretty sure my body was working at a decent pace..but it felt sort of "dream like".. With about 15 minutes to go...two weekend warriors passed me on road bikes -- (one drafting within 3cm of the other guy's wheel). They looked like wrestlers..built like trucks. Anyway. That woke me up a little and I said to myself; "hey, I wonder if I can bike at that pace".. Sure enough, I put it in high-gear and managed to pick it up significantly and keep in contact with them for the remainder of the bike portion (about 100yds behind). They were really moving. I think I improved my time by about 30 seconds (to what it would have been if they did not pass). So I probably ended up averaging another 1-2 mph for the last 15 mins.
How Roger Thompson bikes this extremely hilly course in under 1 hour, I am not sure..
3) Run (0:41:18): Got on the run, left T2 and legs felt OK for the first time on this course. Besides having a stomach cramp, it felt like I could accelerate out of T2. The cramp kept me from completely accelerating however. Nice to know the legs were there. Again, not really feeling that motivated. As per usual, I had a slight/moderate annoying stitch on my right side (from drinking on the bike). After about 15 minutes I had burped 3 or 4 times (big burps) and tried to relax and take deep breaths like coach Scott showed me. By the time I got to the turn-around the "stitch" was totally cleared up and I could put it in high-gear. Now I felt motivated to go fast, and I went into the pain cave and put out a decent run for me on this course (41:18). If I would not have had the stitch it would have been about 20-30 seconds faster I think. I managed to push through the pain (stomach cramp/stitch) and not lose too much time. Being in an aero position after drinking doesn't do my stomach much good. I drank about half a small bottle on the bike. It was not hot, but I really do not want to drink much less than that -- because I sweat like a pig on the run. I didn't take in any liquid or nutrition on the run as usual.

.....The limiter for the last 10 mins on the run was 1) Quads on the verge of cramping-up and locking up.. I just would back-off a bit each time I felt them spasm and start to lock-up..I know once they do "lock up" that I have to start I did not want to push it 2) General fitness

Final thoughts:
1) Realizing you can get a decent time going easy on the swim if you find the right feet. Even though I was not motivated, I banged out a decent swim time (for me).
2) I have started thinking about a new strategy for swimming. If you go pretty hard the first 800 Meters or so, then ease off a little.. It might be somewhat easier to latch onto the good swimmers as they start to pass you. I find it is extremely difficult to really find the good "feet" at the start. So many take off extremely fast (who swim in my range) the first 10 mins... and these "weekend warriors" are not good at sighting or pacing themselves. What do you all think of this strategy? Go harder than you can sustain, then hope to find some feet to ease you into the last half?
3) Taking it a bit easier on the swim and bike helped me PR a run on this course. Although I am a decent runner, I am not good at running up hills so this was a good run for me.
4) Having said that.. I would ideally like to bike 2 mins faster on this course and still run well.Going a minute faster on the swim should be possible as well. Those will be my goals on this course for next year or later this season perhaps.
Essentially, I am pleased with Swim and Run under circumstances. If I could have an area to target -- it would have been the bike (go 1:30~2:00 faster). I feel that that time would be the "easiest" to gain. Also, I was not able to get into Threshold HR on the bike (which is unusual for this course). I was able to get my HR up on the last half of the run though. My body (& mind) is pretty tired.
Best, Sam

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Blue Lake Race Report

Not much to report. I "bonked". I have had stomach cramp issues on the run since I started doing triathlons. In the attempt to avoid stomach cramps I did not put in enough calories the night before and on the day of the race.

The swim went great. Shortly after getting on the bike I felt something was wrong. My body simply did not work anymore. The race was just a whole lot of pain and suffering after that and I did not improve my time much from last year.

If any good news is there it is that my swimming is getting better and that even if I "bonk" that I can still finish the race with a sub 2:15 time. My transitions are also getting smoother although I did not have any energy to move quickly through them.

I sat shivering under many blankets after the race was over -- and many commented that my lips were blue. Not good & not fun. On to better races.

I was glad to see that Steve Murcott had a fantastic race, getting 2:09 and gaining a 3rd place in his Age Group at the fastest short-course race in the North West. :)Also kudos to non-pro (haha) Roger Thompson age 37 with a winning time of 1:53:54 and a 54:00 40k bike split! That is smoking fast!

Happy training, Sam