Sunday, March 21, 2010

Excitement, Self-doubt, & Progress

The Ironman process has been part excitement, self-doubt & progress. I started working with a coach, Jeff Capobianco of Breakthrough Performance Coaching, in November. I had been coached by one of the top coaches in the area over the previous year and made some impressive gains, so making the change was a bit concerning.

Jeff's personality and style of coaching was perfect for me and I was excited from the start. Jeff is a Tri stud who completed Lake Placid last year in 9:48:04... qualified for Kona, etc. etc. He obviously knows how to train and race, so I was really looking forward to working with him.

Over the next several months I experienced a sense of improvement in all three disciplines and that was a great feeling. Then I hit a wall. Times were slower, I wasn't hitting my prescribed power numbers on the bike, and I started to wonder if I was cut out for Ironman.

Then it started to click. You know what was going on? I was getting stronger, but I didn't know it!

On the swim front my times were slower, but Craig said I was swimming better and that it would click. Although I wasn't hitting my numbers on the bike I was pushing harder than I ever had, and I was running distances I had only thought of.

Self-doubt had turned the corner and I've begun to see progress. I've become even more excited! I'm swimming better/faster, I've increased my watts on the bike and I'm running better and longer. I'm pretty pumped!

Up next? A 20 mile run this will be the furthest I've ever run, but I said that last week as I prepared for a 16.

16 was interesting to say the least.... Last Sunday was torrential, so Vin and I decided to run together at the gym. We arrived just after 3:30 only to find out the gym closed at 6, which meant I wouldn't have enough time to finish the 16. At 6:00 p.m. I had run 14.3 and felt that I had to finish, at the very least, to prove I could do it. I decided to finish outside. Mentally I needed to know I could do it. So outside I went in the pouring rain with winds gusting over 40 miles an hour. I ran two miles to make sure I did the 16. The best part about it? My brother followed me in his car to make sure I was safe...only a brother! Thanks Vin.

As I head into another build week, including my first 20 mile run, I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes... "Preparation breeds confidence"... My confidence is building as the preparation continues.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Key Workouts

Over the last several weeks we've entered a pretty deep build phase. I've accomplished many "firsts" and I'm pretty psyched about that. I remember a few years ago that running 4 miles was a task. In the last 5 weeks my long runs have been 12, 12, and 14...this week I have 16 miles. My longest run ever!

In addition to the increase in running I've increased my 20 minute power and engaged in some solid workouts... 10 x 2 minutes at 125% of your FTP is definitely a workout! Try it sometime. If you aren't training and racing with power you're missing out. It's the quickest way to get better, faster, and race smarter.

I continue to make progress on the swim front as well. My 100 time is coming down a bit and my technique is coming along.

The home front is still solid. Most of my training is done early a.m. (5:00 a.m. forward) so the "damage" is minimal. I know that the weekends will start to get longer, but I'm fortunate to have a wife that gets "it". She is super supportive and I can't thank her enough.

Thankfully the annoying injuries have been kept at bay, but it's a constant battle. I recently switched to a smaller crankset to see if I can take the "kink" out of my hip, so we'll see how that goes. So far so good...

Equipment... Parlee TT, Zipp Disc with PowerTap, 808 front, Aerodrink, X-Lab rear mounted hydration system, Blue Seventy Helix (for now), & Fit Werx kit.

More to come



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