Thursday, July 26, 2007

Reading a Dogs Breakfast

I thought I would share my Heart rate readout from last Saturdays Long Group Ride, the trouble with information is that sometimes the graphs often look like a "Dog's Breakfast" with so many lines it can look like spaghetti thrown against a wall and it is only after you start to itemize each line can you start to find the information you need, now whether it makes any sense or aids my training will come with time when I look back at my cycling workouts.

The kicker for this workout is that we are in the strength building phase of the triathlon season, well actually we are in the summer break of the season which kicks back in early Sept with around 4 Olympic distance races of which I will probably do 3. The last race of the season is down in Eilat about a five hour drive and will involve a couple of nights in hotel and I am not sure whether the finances warrant going down for an olympic when I am focused now for the Ironman in less than a year.

Perhaps the hard thing is that when you jump in a pool and swim a lap , it hits me as to the magnitude that lays ahead. I have no doubt as to my belief in myself that I will and I am capable of achieving a goal that defines me as a person of commitment.

This week has seen me do the following

Group Open Water Swim - 1500 m [5 sets of 10 minute repeats] immediately follwed by 40 minute tempo run [7.5km] temp above 30 C , Core Super Set & Stretch 30 minuts

AM Group Track 1 Hour with Coach Ron , heavy Pliometrics strength training
PM Core Super Set & Stretch 30 minutes

6 am - 1 hour bike drills [25 km's] 4 repeats one leg drills on hill and cadence work
7.30 am - Core Super Set & Stretch 30 minutes
9 am - One Hour Spin Class with sprints
10.30am - One Hour swim drills

AM - Group Track 1 Hour - Strength and Cadence Running 400's

Phew and the weekend is still to come

Train Strong

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Heart Rate Feedback this week

A few HRM charts from workouts earlier this week will also add later a few swim photos when I get the chance, training has obviously started to focus more on running with Munchen now under a hundred day, the track session this morning was probably one of my best running sessions in a long time, legs felt strong and good, pace is certainly picking up just now need to translate that to longer distances.

My arms felt good enough to hit the pool after track this morning and had a solid 1500m yes 1500m drills session. I was so pleased when I calculated my distance today as in my training log. I still keep a handwritten log and each week I have to list three objectives and swimming 1500 freestyle was one of the objectives, given how far I have come swimming feeling so good about the pool and I am really starting to enjoy the water.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Training Grounds

So I had my first ever private swim lesson today and I need this question answered?

Is it normal to feel like your upper arms and shoulders want fall off?

Now the picture is the view from my apartment of my training grounds, this is not Wisconsin in winter , the Med Sea is fifty meters away , then there is the salt water 25m pool out the back and the road to the left is the start of many of my runs with the wind off the sea. Just thought I would share this view from my balcony.

The whole weekend has been a great training block from the bike ride Saturday morning when I realised that I have to mive up to the top group of riders, it got to the stage when I felt it was like the Tour de France when I broke away from the peloton when I realised that my heart rate had dropped to below 90 and we were meant to be doing cadence work. So in my mind I took off and did a hard 12 km on a solo breakaway.

Running was good but the heat is sucking me dry, and I am having trouble keeping up my fluids or more importantly being able to carry enough fluid for my longer runs. Saturday afternoon is an exception when I run with the local Hash group and we rehydrate with beer. Sunday was long and it was great to have a new running friend, Riich who I met thru the Phedippidations Pod Cast has moved to Israel and what is even funnier is that we have run many of the same Marathons and I am trying to talk him into doing Munich in October. Monday was a brutal tempo run for 40 minutes with my heart rate in zone 3 to the end of the Marina which you can just see in the picture. And this morning was my first track session of the week and I can feel my running improve with every session.

Swimming, Monday was the Group Open Water in the sea, water was so warm that it is almost uncomfortable even in the dreaded Speedo's well I actually wear TYR to avoid the speedo smears. Not only having to deal with warm water the visibility was dreadful and it was like swimming in watered gravy.

Then today my first swim lesson, ok here are the nuts and bolts. Firstly I don't suck as much as I thought I did, need to widen my arms and not cross my hands/arms, need to drop my chest and get more streamlined and start to spot my elbows. For an hour I was worked solidly by Gavin my coach and yes i was videotaped. If you would like to see my attempts post a comment and I will upload via you tube if any thing good for a laugh.

One funny thing though was that my best lap for form and speed was done with closed fist drill, go figure LOL

Friday, July 13, 2007

Three symbols, a world of possibilities. Let the games begin.

Define Sport , here I could insert a quotation from dictionarycom , but in a quiet moment of channel surfing in the office I came across a new sport.

It has coverage on ESPN … following are the quotes from the telecast commentators.

“Thousands of pumps down “
“He has been unflinching all night”
“Oh no he has stumbled getting into the ring”
“Fatigue could be an issue”
“Slices paper for the point”
“Must throw flawlessly”
“Players must stay in sync”
“He is exhausted”
“These players are tired”
“On the verge of making sports history”
“He has done the unthinkable”
“One day we will see that fist in the Hall of Fame”
“This is the greatest moment in RPS history”
“He is my champion today”

Ok what is this sport?. Which somehow managed to elicit every sporting cliché from the commentators, there are some clues and even the acronym that it goes by.

I like watching sport and have even been known to comment on sports from curling to my personal favorite “solo synchronized swimming”. Yes they have solo synchronized swimming what the sync against is still a mystery perhaps they put a nose plug on the side of the pool and use that .

Anyway today I have to say that the second annual championship held in Las Vegas complete with $50,000 prize money was won by the “The Brain” in a tight match that included the referee having to stop the match for being out of sync.

Yes folks “ROCK PAPER SCISSORS” is now a serious sport

Check out the web site and if you are truly patriotic American please admit to cringing.

This article was on the site to promote the telecast that was my inspiration today …

After logrolling, spelling bees and hot-dog eating, you might think ESPN has run out of sports.
That would not be the case. Tonight, ESPN2 presents its first rock paper scissors competition.
The 2007 Bud Light USA Rock Paper Scissors League National Championship doesn't have the cachet quite yet of the Super Bowl, but it's growing, according to Matti Leshem, co-commissioner of the USA Rock Paper Scissors League.
Although the competition, held in Las Vegas, has been televised before - last year on the A&E Network - this is the first time it will be covered by ESPN, which still likes to call itself "the worldwide leader in sports."
"It's a real validation for the sport," Leshem says by phone from Los Angeles.
The competition was held in May at the Mandalay Bay Resort Casino, with enough underwriting from Bud Light that 300 finalists from nationwide barroom competitions were flown in with a guest for the finals, which carries a top prize of $50,000.
The league has only been around since 2005, Leshem says, "but this is a game played since the beginning of recorded history."
Really? Before the invention of scissors? Or paper?
"Back to the caveman days," Leshem says, though he adds, "it was known as rock rock rock in those days."
The discovery of new materials led to a change in the approach. "For a time, it was known as rock papyrus spear, which you may have heard of before," he says.
Clearly, the development of paper in China, along with the invention of scissors, made great strides in the hand game where, of course, rock smashes scissors, scissors cut paper and paper covers rock.
There is a historic angle to the other name by which the game is known, Rochambeau, after the French general who aided George Washington in the Revolutionary War, and whose march through Connecticut (through Farmington, not too far from eventual ESPN headquarters in Bristol) marked its 225th anniversary last year.
The French general, according to Leshem, "adjudicated several disputes with rock paper scissors."
That may be just as much a myth as Rochambeau supposedly plotting the Yorktown battle with Washington in Wethersfield. But it explains why school children pumping their fists three times in anticipating shooting their desired signal will often shout "Reaux! Sham! Beau!" instead of "One! Two! Three!"
Clearly, there are different styles of the game, which is obviously not treated in complete seriousness by the league. But what exactly makes a great rock paper scissors champion?
"Skill, athleticism, the ability to read an opponent - to know what your opponent is going to throw before they throw it," Leshem says.
Statistics play a role - women often open with scissors, while men often choose rock first; paper is the least often used first signal, studies have shown.
But athleticism?
"There are different styles of play," Leshem says. "It gets quite energetic. A lot of power goes into it. The mental drain of it has a toll on the body."
Besides that, he adds, "there are injuries, people dislocate shoulders or sprain wrists."
Because reading the opponent's intent is so important, a poker champion, Phil Gordon, has agreed to officiate.
Also, like poker, "it takes a moment to learn, but a lifetime to master," Leshem says. "It's like chess, right? You have to practice, and you really start to feel the Zen of throwing."
Eventually, a world view develops, he says. "You look at life as a tripartite thing, that life is not black and white, it's not a binary on-off switch - there's the possibility of third choice."
As for those who don't think it's a sport, Leshem says, well, it takes all kinds. "There are people who think golf is a sport."
Ilan Ben-Hanan, the network's director of programming and acquisitions, says, "For us, I think ESPN is all about competition - traditional stick and ball sports, for the most part. But there's room for something a little bit different."
And the childhood game of rock paper scissors is nothing if not that.
"Everyone knows how to play the game, so that helps," Ben-Hanan says.
Whether it returns next year depends, in part, how it does tonight.
"We'll wait to see what the response is," he says.
Leshem says the initial ESPN telecast coming on 7-7-07 isn't completely lucky for them.
"It's kind of a hard night, there's also that Live Earth thing on," he says. "But we're honored to be on the ESPN networks."
The 2007 Bud Light USA Rock Paper Scissors League National Championship runs tonight at 9 on ESPN2.

Now to add a bit more cringe factor I add one last paragraph from the official site …

“American players embody the ideals of the sport - aggression, cunning and intensity. Finally, they have the stage to showcase their mad skills. Annual nationwide tournaments will honorably determine the best RPS player in the USA, and bring on a new breed of elite athletes to make all Americans proud and unify our polarized nation. The red, white and blue will be properly represented in international competition and inspire a new form of patriotism. The USARPS League is destined to bring on new strategies, training techniques and of course, great American heroes.”

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Like a Hollywood Movie

Remember those scenes from movies about sport whereby the hero always seems in trouble and is told by the coach to run the stadium stairs and our lone forlorn hero is seen in wide shots of the stadium easily climbing up as he has a point to prove against his coach. Well let me tell you stadium stairs hurt big time.
Again at the track workout with the group we were shepherded to the stadium and given the task of two ups and downs followed by 400 around the track repeat till i say stop. It sounds dramatic but in fact a great workout your quads are screaming by the end and I doubt that anyone could honestly run a complete stadium without collapsing.
So another hollywood myth is debunked , but then again it could be just me.
Lots of congrats from the team about signing up for my Ironman and looks like I will have some training partners from the group which will be good on those long runs, no I wait for the horror stories from those returning LOL
Long in the morning
Train hard

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sold Out in 19 hours

Well today is either Day 1 or Day 374 depending on whether I wanted to count up or down, I prefer the notion of counting down it somehow adds to the excitement. But then again it seems silly to worry about something that is that far away. Munich is closer so in the spirit of being rational it is only 102 days to Munich so come Friday the clock will read 100 days and my coach Gavin has me focusing on this race as I want to set a PB which means going under 3:58. I have been under 4 hours twice and feel that my running is getting better so I am confident of setting a PB. But one thing I have learnt is that you must respect the distance.

So I woke this morning and looked out the window at the pool down below, my training program had me down for a criterium bike workout on the spinner and a swim workout. The sun was still not on the pool so I opted for a later swim or perhaps I could just skip the swim and do the bike. Hang on whats with skipping workouts on Day 1.

So popped the dvd, put on "What it Takes" the insirational Tri film that follows four elite triathletes training for Kona in 2005. I probably watch this two to three times a week it does give you an incredible lift as you watch them train and compete.

The bike workout was as follows

10 min warm up ,
6 x 30" > 100 rpm+ , 30 " easy - 39 ring
4 x 2:00 90 rpm (53/21) - 1:00 easy
4 x 2:00 90 rpm (53/17) - 1:00 easy
4 x 1:00 90 RPM (53/17) - 1:00 easy
45 minute easy include cooldown

All up 1 hour 30 minutes which is a good way to get time on the saddle , and the roads here are just to dangerous to consider riding on unless you are with a group or have a death wish.

Followed by my core super set of 14 exercises - 30 minutes with stretching

So before 9:00am I had already done two hours training and the pool still sparkled down below. But I had some errands to run and get my bike looked at for new brakes, last group ride everytime I braked it sounded like a screaming banshee car alarm surrounded me and made me about as popular as a pork chop at a bar mitzpah. Naturally the shop sold me more than a brake pad set as preventive chain maintenance is critical and I have now two cans of ozone layer destroying degreaser and lube ready to be used , assuring me according to the shop a smooth silent chain, the jury is out lets wait and see.

Back home the pool still sparkled was reletively empty of holidaymakers, so it was time to put on the much maligned Speedos and head down for my set . Regular readers know that my swimming to date has been not my strongest point but slowly drill by drill I am actually getting the freestyle bug and the thought of breaststroking is a thing of the past. I am not doing any great distance and my whole workout was 750m 3 different drills of 250 m followed by practicing Total Immersion basic drills . The sun beat down and the water was warm , hey i might even start really enjoying this swim part.

Tomorrow morning , my second track workout with the group at 6:30 , up at 5.00 am.

Oh and the title , Ironman Austria sold out in 19 hours online, amazes me that an event can sell out that far in advance that fast , well I guess I am not the only one commited now.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


com·mit·ment (kə-mĭt'mənt) Pronunciation Key
The act or an instance of committing, especially:
The act of referring a legislative bill to committee.
Official consignment, as to a prison or mental health facility.
A court order authorizing consignment to a prison.
A pledge to do.
Something pledged, especially an engagement by contract involving financial obligation.
A pledge to do.
Something pledged, especially an engagement by contract involving financial obligation.
The state of being bound emotionally or intellectually to a course of action or to another person or persons: a deep commitment to liberal policies; a profound commitment to the family.

Now all of the above do not specifically relate to what I have commited to. Espicially any reference to prison or a mental health facility, but then again I may have reason to question my state of mental health given to what I have commited to on 13th July 2008

The time has come that I feel that I am ready to complete an Ironman next year "Ironman Austria" Entries opened this morning and the 2,000 spots have almost been filled in less than 15 hours. Hitting the send button and receiving the email back means that purpose has a new meaning.

No longer can I look down at the pool from window and give myself a reason not to go down and do laps, the cycleop's spinner is going to have to hum for hours and more than one pair of trainers will be worn out.

My main focus for the next couple of months is to nail down my training for the Munich Marathon with Chaim in October and finish the tri season here after the summer break which resumes in September.

Then there will be the cold mornings of winter and no doubt work trips which will totally screw up my training plans from time to time, but having commited to what will be the longest day in my life I have only one desire and that is to enjoy the experience from my first workout tonight when I get home to crossing the line in the twilight on July 13 2008.

It is going to be a long journey but every step of the way will be recorded.

Hey I am going to be an Ironman, I hope you will enjoy the journey with me.